On stage, Texas State alumnus J.T. Martin can be seen clad in high heels, fishnets, underwear and a corset as frontman of the San Marcos-based glam rock band Chasca. During his off hours, the self-proclaimed nerd said he shies away from the glitter, makeup and fanfare of his alter ego, choosing more low-key attire.
The 39-year-old San Marcos native credits losing his “Rocky Horror” virginity at 15 as the main personal and professional influence in his life. Martin will reteam with bassist and vocalist Junior Scott, keyboardist and vocalist Sean Palmer, guitarist Sean Hannon and drummer Ian Brooks at 9 p.m. Aug. 30 at Triple Crown. The show is on the heels of Chasca’s first EP release, “Bedtime for Bedlamites,” scheduled to be out next month.
JGP: What were your plans after high school? What did you do once you graduated from San Marcos High School?
JTM: Well, I went to Texas State briefly, (and) it was Southwest Texas still when I graduated. I always had music as an ambition, so I played in bands and stuff. I would go play music a little while, trying to get something going, and then inevitably it fell through, and I’d end up back in San Marcos. I would take classes here and there and that cycle probably went on for, I don’t know, like 10 years. Then I ultimately graduated from Texas State. By that time and based on a recommendation from a professor I had as an undergraduate, I went to graduate school. At that point the band started to develop, so that’s kept me pretty well anchored in this area.
JGP: What does Chasca mean?
JTM: Our guitarist had gone on vacation to Peru and he came back with this great name Amaru. We Googled it and, of course, somebody in Florida named Bobby Amaru had a band called Amaru. He was like, well, there’s this other name, Chasca. You spend a good couple of months trying to come up with a band name and you start off and you have these good ideas that fall by the wayside for one reason or another. So, Chasca kind of was the one that was the least bothersome to anyone, and it’s a catchy one word, an Incan goddess and the goddess of the dawn. She’s like the equivalent in some ways, not exactly, but her sort of counterpart with Western mythology would be Venus.
JGP: How do you choose your on-stage attire?
JTM: We’ve talked to a couple of people who have given us the ins-and-outs on stuff. It’s interesting to see who has an innate skill for what because our drummer’s actually been kind of the most involved in spearheading that. It’s fascinating because I never would have thought that about him prior to this. Our bassist, Junior, his ability to do fingernails is awesome. He’s gone hog wild on his fingernails. Yeah, the things you learn about your friends when you start cross-dressing.
JGP: Have there ever been any wardrobe malfunctions?
JTM: We’re kind of sitting in that very nice pocket of having it be just slightly titillating, slightly juvenile, funny, but not embarrassing or offend(ing to) anyone. You pay your money and you take your chances at a Chasca show. The only wardrobe malfunctions I am aware of (for me) are always shoe related. I’ve broken a couple of heels before and that’s always a pain. I’d rather expose myself than break a heel. Those heels are impossible to fix.