CHASCA
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CHASCA

San Marcos, TX, USA | Established. Jan 01, 2011 | SELF

San Marcos, TX, USA | SELF
Established on Jan, 2011
Band Rock Glam Rock

Calendar

This band hasn't logged any future gigs

Apr
29
CHASCA @ THE BLACKHEART

Austin, Texas, United States

Austin, Texas, United States

Oct
29
CHASCA @ Stonewall Warehouse

San Marcos, Texas, United States

San Marcos, Texas, United States

Oct
28
CHASCA @ The Highball

Austin, Texas, United States

Austin, Texas, United States

Oct
22
CHASCA @ THE BLACKHEART

Austin, Texas, United States

Austin, Texas, United States

Oct
14
CHASCA @ La Botanica

San Antonio, Texas, United States

San Antonio, Texas, United States

Oct
08
CHASCA @ The Hole In the Wall

Austin, Texas, United States

Austin, Texas, United States

Oct
01
CHASCA @ Limelight

San Antonio, Texas, United States

San Antonio, Texas, United States

Sep
30
CHASCA @ The Lost Well

austin, Texas, United States

austin, Texas, United States

Sep
24
CHASCA @ Charlie Brown's

San Antonio, Texas, United States

San Antonio, Texas, United States

Sep
17
CHASCA @ Spider House Ballroom

Austin, Texas, United States

Austin, Texas, United States

Sep
13
CHASCA @ Phantom Room

San Antonio, Texas, United States

San Antonio, Texas, United States

Sep
09
CHASCA @ Rudyard's

Houston, Texas, United States

Houston, Texas, United States

Sep
03
CHASCA @ The Deadhorse

San Angelo, Texas, United States

San Angelo, Texas, United States

Sep
02
CHASCA @ Lost Horse Saloon

Marfa, Texas, United States

Marfa, Texas, United States

Aug
20
CHASCA @ The Rock Box

San Antonio, Texas, United States

San Antonio, Texas, United States

Aug
13
CHASCA @ BAM

Brownsville, Texas, United States

Brownsville, Texas, United States

Aug
12
CHASCA @ Cold Brew Sports Bar & Lounge

Laredo, Texas, United States

Laredo, Texas, United States

Jul
31
CHASCA @ THE BLACKHEART

Austin, Texas, United States

Austin, Texas, United States

Jul
29
CHASCA @ Fitzgerald's Bar & Live Music

San Antonio, Texas, United States

San Antonio, Texas, United States

Jul
28
CHASCA @ House of Rock

Corpus Christi, Texas, United States

Corpus Christi, Texas, United States

Jul
23
CHASCA @ Stonewall Warehouse

San Marcos, Texas, United States

San Marcos, Texas, United States

Jul
20
CHASCA @ The Pub Fountains

Stafford, Texas, United States

Stafford, Texas, United States

Jul
09
CHASCA @ Swan Dive

Austin, Texas, United States

Austin, Texas, United States

Jul
01
CHASCA @ Kiva Lounge and Bar

San Marcos, Texas, United States

San Marcos, Texas, United States

Jun
17
CHASCA @ 502 Bar

San Antonio, Texas, United States

San Antonio, Texas, United States

Music

Press


Local crazies’ superstentialistic origin story

This week’s 35th anniversary Chronicle issue and its theme, “What We Talk About When We Talk About Weird,” easily lent itself to profiling 10 local music acts we’d barely written about in the past, but plenty got left on the cutting room floor. Like Chasca frontman J.T. Martin’s backstory on the band. Here’s what he sent us:

Everyone in the band (except Wiley the drummer) served together in the Coast Guard. One time, while on routine patrol in the Strait of Malacca, we had a dust-up with what we thought were pirates. Turns out it was just Rod Stewart on his yacht. His entourage was pretty drunk and pissed off.

They hurled insults and debris at us. It was one of those existential benchmark moments where we all decided that we didn’t want to be aimless swine anymore. NO SIR, from that moment on we committed to OINK LIKE GODS.

That definitely inspired us to form a band and do our best as a fount of efficiency and joy and prurience. Our stage presence is inspired and fueled by our deep religious convictions. We in the band are strict adherents of Superstentialism.

Superstentialism is a new religion we invented.

It’s basically a rip-off of Scientology (with a touch of Presbyterianism), but less emphasis on Darth Vader and money, more on Oscar Wilde and kinky sex. Our beliefs demand that we do our best and give 100% to every appearance until we have nothing left in us. Just like Steve Prefontaine. He’s kinda our Jesus, only faster and with more profanity.

We are definitely the MOST eccentric act in Austin, but not because of our music or performances. There’s lots of great, interesting, and “eccentric” artists in Austin and I would be surprised if we were grouped among them by dint of our talent. We have massive hang-ups.

We won’t play anywhere that’s haunted. This has caused a lot of grief for us through the years. But we won’t do it. If the place is haunted, we’re gone.

We also despise drink tickets for the band. To us, drink tickets smell of Bolshevik hogwash. We always arrive eight hours before a show and make liberal use of the venue’s washing facilities.

We’re also extremely suspicious of “sound guys.” They have names like Winston and Jarret. They slink around behind their equipment, but we know what they’re up to.

We only ever seem to get booed by porcine middle-aged men wearing Rush T-shirts. I think it’s the same guy in different T-shirts who follows us around just so he can stick it to us. Our singer is lousy with crabs – he calls them “venereal gnomes” – and has a thing for Olivia De Havilland.

We insist on being paid in crisp, clean bills or checks with pictures of babies on them.

There’s more, but it gets pretty personal from here on out. Oh, once our bassist (Junior) forced a chubby kid to take one of our CDs in exchange for a bowl of spaghetti. And our drummer (Wiley) is always threatening to leave so he can join the Navy. (We've lost more drummers to the Navy.)

I wrote him this poem on the back of his kick drum head:

Wiley, don’t join the Navy...
They cover all your food in gravy
Out at sea, you’ll see
It's not a place you'll like to be

You’ll be sorry on the water
When you “kiss the gunner’s daughter”
It’s definitely no pleasure cruise
Or awesome movie with Tom Cruise (and Kelly McGillis – meow!)

You’ll be keel hauled and get flogged
You’ll turn green and get grogged
You’ll get seasick, you’ll get scurvy
It’ll be just like junior high - The Austin Chronicle


Is Chasca the most eccentric band in Austin? Don't let anyone tell you otherwise! Often adorned in a war helmet and smeared, glittered makeup, frontman J.T. Martin exudes a Beetlejuice-like ringleader weirdness as he time travels to medieval Europe on the Millennium Falcon with David Bowie androgyny and Queen's heavy glam theatrics in tow. Before becoming the Rocky Horror Picture Show quintet of the Austin avant-garde, story has it is that Martin, Junior Scott (bassist), Brittany Paris (keys), and Sean Hannon (guitar) were on duty as former members of the Coast Guard and ran into Rod Stewart's agitated entourage on a yacht. After being hurled with insults and debris, Chasca "didn't want to be aimless swine anymore and were committed to oink like gods." Live, those oinks transform into messianic shrieks during bombastic performances as Martin teaches the 10 Commandments of Superstentialism. "It's basically a rip-off of Scientology, but less emphasis on Darth Vader and money, and more on Oscar Wilde and kinky sex," offers Martin. "Our beliefs demand that we give until we have nothing left in us. Just like the Olympian Steve Prefontaine." – Alejandra Ramirez - The Austin Chronicle


San Antonio’s Fea plays the Phantom Room this week with Wayne Holtz and San Marcos’ Chasca. Chasca’s self-described “Rocky Horror dramatics” complement their alternative glam-rock sounds, proving some from that town just a bit north can hang with the rest of us. Fea will bring their badass brand of riot grrrl as usual, while queer rapper Chris Conde and fabulous show-stopper Wayne Holtz seal the night. The best theme among these artists is that their politics and performance are an aspect of their music — making performance true art — rather than simply a showcase or replication of what can be found on a Soundcloud. - San Antonio Current


Part Rocky Horror, part cabaret, part Queen and all rock and roll, San Marcos-based glam rock group Chasca is a sight to behold. The eccentric five-piece band will be in town this Friday, playing a free show at one of Laredo’s most treasured rock and roll bars — The Cold Brew.

The band specializes in their own brand of rock that has a tendency to steal the spotlight. Dressed in a tight spandex that Dr. Frank-N-Furter would be jealous of and make up that would make anyone green with envy, the band definitely has a stage presence all their own.

“The style grew out of our performances, we all wanted to do something against the grain,” Martin said via phone interview. “We try to do something with a little more hutzpah.”

Their style isn’t just all glitz, though. Beneath the makeup lies a hard rocking group that’s tight and together, with harmonized vocals and an instrument section that would compete with the most technical of musicians.

The group grew organically in the San Marcos music scene, made up of vocalist/flautist (that’s right, I said flautist) JT Martin, guitarist Sean Hammond, backup vocalist/bassist Junior Scott, drummer Wiley Koepp and backup vocalist/keyboardist Brittany Paris.

The group's strong musicianship allows the band to really put on a show, with the stage turning into a theater, complete with costume changes, just the right amount of gyrating choreography and extended flute solos that shows off the group’s Jethro Tull DNA.

“We’ll definitely have a good time.” Martin said when asked what Laredoans should expect on the night. “At Chasca shows, you get a chance to let your hair down and throw conventions out the door. It’s a time to get weird!”

Martin also recommends getting to the bar early, to watch the group glam up thanks to their own professional makeup artist.

Playing with Chasca are local rockers Silver Tongue. The group will also open up for San Antonio-based alternative goth band Blackstar Satellite, who will take the Brew stage for another free show on Saturday night. They’ll have a different set on each night for the Brew faithful that make it out to both shows.

For more on Chasca, as well as their Twitter and Facebook accounts, you can visit their website at chascamusic.com - Laredo Morning Times


A few months back, I was walking through Rainey Street with friends in from Amsterdam and London. We decided to duck in from the drizzling rain that had started seeping past the first layer of clothes into the Blackheart, a bar that I like to support because of their artist residency program. On that night, we stood there, mouths agape, funneling our attention at the performer on stage wearing a face full of makeup, tight spandex and guzzling Big Red from a 2 liter bottle. He addressed the crowd with moxie, turned around to put on a technicolored glitter coat and then proceeded to rock our faces off. I turned to the friends in from out of town. “See, this is just the magic that you find walking down the street here in Austin. You can stumble into any bar and get incredible live music.” But deep down, I knew that I was fibbing. This was not the usual band you find in Austin, this is not the usual entertainment. I was entranced by the music, the gyration of the crowd, the inside joke the band seemed to share. It was like I was watching an entirely new version of Queen, a version where Freddy Mercury rocks a flute and spouts innuendo. I live for moments like this, and all around me, I can tell that everyone else is equally living for it too.

I got a chance to sit down with the glitter gods, J.T. and Junior of Chasca to see what inspires them, how they evolved into their unique performance style.

Carla: Watching your performances, I’ve seen a few now, I can’t help but anticipate certain costume changes. When you go on stage with spandex and makeup on, and you’re jamming, there’s a power there right?

Junior: It actually is empowering and yet it is also revealing. In some ways, the makeup is our truest face. What you assume is that it’s a mask, you put it on and it’s armor. No matter what, good or bad you’re protected from it. But with us, it’s a bit different. When you’re legitimately enthusiastic about something, it makes you vulnerable. People are like ‘oh my god, you care. that’s so uncool.’ Right? But when we get our costumes and makeup on, what we’re expressing to our audience is: we’re really committed to this. And If you respond positively to us, it’s going to feed our souls.

J.T. : A good costume should conceal the identity and reveal the essence of the wearer.

Junior: There it is. (cont’d after picture)

The Concert Pub (North) Houston, TX, photo by: Maurice
The Concert Pub (North) Houston, TX, photo by: Maurice
J.T. It’s interesting from a sociological standpoint. We put the makeup on at the venue in full view of the clientele. We get there three hours ahead of time to get all done up and then people see us walking around. It immediately evokes a range of curiosities…and skepticism.

I think a lot of people in our culture have probably set a good expectation that if something looks like a gimmick, or looks inauthentic or filigree, it’s probably to compensate for lack of substance. They think we’re going to get up there and bite the heads off of chickens.

You know, all squirt and no juice, right? I think the 1980s set up a lot of expectation, if you appear to have a lot of peppermint about you, then you probably don’t have a lot of essence.

That skepticism, and people setting their dial to be particularly critical is pretty interesting. I mean, they’re already engaged right? When you can melt cynicism, which there’s an abundance of, it’s an effective device. It wasn’t like we plotted it out that way, ‘we’ll make their cynicism peak and then we will go in for the kill.’ It sort of just happened that way.

We are a glam rock band but I don’t think that quite captures the essence of it. It’s not just the glitter and makeup. It’s a full commitment to going balls out for the performance. And I think that makes people feel, on the best nights, oh these guys are doing something well and having fun: we can have fun too. So the hair comes down, the inhibitions melt a little. And it becomes, in a weird way, us separating ourselves from the audience. It’s like the antithetical punk thing, instead of being one with the audience, we are inviting you into our world and everyone is welcome. That’s the spirit that I sense going on at our shows on the best nights. Some of the Blackheart shows that we played are like mardi gras, we can lift our shirts and shake what we got and it’s all ok here cause these guys are doing it and they’re not bashful about. it.

Carla: And the best moment is when the metal heads come out.

Junior: They seem to have the highest level of skepticism and they like to communicate it too. Look, I saw what you were wearing. I hated it and I hated you. But by the third song, I loved you. I can feel in those moments that it’s important for them to connect with us and to let us know that we were this close to turning them completely off. But in the end we got them. Well, the performance is quite unique. It’s kind of hard not to be engaged.

Carla: What was the creative brew that happened during the evolution of the band? This seems like a very authentic expression. The crowd can sense it. With so much noise, how did you pull this out of yourselves?

J.T.: The short answer is that everything we do is a synthesis of all the things that influenced us. For good and ill. We are all big fans of Queen, and of that genre and era of music, when the intention of the artist was to bring a largess to the show, a spectacle. Give people a reason to go out and spend their hard earned dollars. And I particularly am fond of Genesis, the Peter Gabriel era. There’s just a lot of stuff in our DNA as musicians and performers that comes from that era where the sexuality is mixed in, you know, a little bit from column A, a little bit from column B. There’s a theatricality to the music. That’s what we cut our teeth on. It takes us to that high, white peak of ecstasy when you listen to those songs. We were never old enough to see those bands in their heyday but thanks to Youtube we can access that.

Junior: And before that, we watched the late night MTV Classic concerts.

J.T.: You watch that and all of a sudden it’s Bowie or T Rex and you’re like ‘who are these guys? This is weirder than anything I’ve ever seen on Headbanger’s Ball.’

Junior: Even bands that aren’t as much of an influence to us musically, we still take cues from. The New York Dolls, Kiss, Iggy Pop. When I was a little kid and I saw Gene Simmons spitting fire and blood, flying over the crowd, I thought ‘you can be a superhero and a rockstar at the same time? Sign me up!’

JT: Gene Simmons said that Kiss became the band they wanted to see, that they weren’t seeing. We thought it would be interesting to take all the aspects of the bands that we love, and try to do our own thing with it. At the very least we’ll have a gas doing it. Even if everyone else hates it. We’ll feel like it was at least a fun risk to take. But it did take us a little while to catch our stride. We realized that the way to really make it work is to go full on commitment with it. To make the costumes inhabit some characters for the songs, make the makeup bigger. It’s an ongoing process.

Junior: And to be fair, if we find two years from now surround by other bands wearing costumes and makeup, you’ll likely see us in suits. The idea is to stand out, to find a different way of expressing a performance and art that is incongruous with the other things out there. We’re trying to be true to ourselves, but we’re also going ‘hey if this shoe gazer thing is in, let’s not do that.’

JT: The makeup and the cosmetic aspect of what we do is just another way to dot our i’s and cross our t’s. That’s just one facet of the show. If we got up there and stood there playing the music it wouldn’t be as effective. But if we decided to take all the makeup off, we’d still jump around and stuff. You have to be inherently entertaining.

Carla: The theatric nature of what you’re doing is effective because all of the parts work well together. You’re telling a story using scenery and costume to tell it. You could tell the story standing still, but you it wouldn’t be as impactful as creating the full audio atmosphere.

JT: Absolutely. Whatever it was that we wanted to achieve at the beginning, we wanted to make sure that we weren’t dumbing it down or trying to be consistent with an actuarial chart, ‘this is what people want. this what will get a reaction.’ We had a lot of faith that people would handle something low brow but high minded.

One of the things that was a lone star for me, as far as what the public will accept is the TV show Lost. Here’s a show that has it all right? Production is great, the stories are interesting, the mythology around it is complex. The writers are pulling from all kinds of literary sources and science. You’re either gonna hang with it or you’re gonna hate it. They took a big risk and it paid off. This was around the time when the band was starting to incubate. I kept thinking, why aren’t there more things like this? It’s accessible and good and you can somehow package it for a primetime audience, an audience that might not be used to Apocalypse Now meets 2001. I can see the suits being like ‘this is really heady stuff for Joe Six Pack.’ But if you do something well, I think, yeah there are gonna be people who don’t like it, but at least they’ll not like it honestly. But there are also going to be people that respond to it.

JT: We’ve all been sidemen in other projects. When bands talk to crowds, you sense a bit of trepidation. People get into music because they like music, not because they enjoy addressing other people. Being conscious of communication with the audience was an important thing to establish. The best performances come from performers who you sense don’t need validation. In many ways the performer is a lion tamer.

Carla: And sometimes you poke the crowd!

J.T.: It’s a high wire act to an extent. You have to be judicious and ready to roll with whatever reaction you get and hope you have the presence of mind to respond accurately. But part of the show is an interaction and you want people to feel like they are a part of the show. Each night is a different night. As the lion tamer you gotta know when to throw a treat and when to crack the whip. It’s a fine line to walk and it’s a constant learning curve…the whole point is to have fun and to bring the audience to the party.

Junior: And it’s wise to keep in mind that a good comedian can get some mileage off a blown joke.

J.T.: Some of our funniest and best crowd engagement come from things that tank. It’s funny to call yourself out on that. Sometimes I make a note to self: ’ok, no more sodomy references in west Texas. Sometimes it’s nice to be the foil in your own bit but it takes a lot of confidence to be the person getting picked on; to not be rattled and at ease having said something stupid but that you’re inviting everyone to laugh at you. That’s part and parcel to what we are trying to bring to in a live performance. Everything that happens is part of the show. There are no missteps.

Carla: It’s funny how art has to be so serious…and we aren’t one dimensional beings. You can have comedy as part of your art and still have it be impactful.

J.T.: I don’t buy into the idea that art has to have this dark gravitas. If you look at Oscar Wilde, his stuff is self-deprecating, witty and funny but also cutting. Humor does a lot of things and many of those things are not trivial. We take our performance seriously but at the same time don’t. It’s another dichotomy inherent in our schizophrenia. We want to a make something that, as Wilde put it, can be admired. There are two schools of thought in art or creative pursuit: you do it for yourself and don’t care if people like it or you do and you want people to respond to it. We’re putting it out there so that people will react, hopefully in a positive way. I’m suspicious of anyone that says ‘I don’t care what people think’. At the same time, we’re also not going stop ourselves from doing something because we’re worried about what people will think.

Carla: I believe an artist’s most exciting power is to translate messages or information that is not easily communicated. What messages do you think you translate?

J.T.: This one guy came up to me after a show and said ‘you made me believe in rock and roll again,’ which was a sweet thing to lay on someone. But there was something in the sincerity in which he said it that was humbling. Here we are playing this dumpy little club for a few people, and we’re this little piddly shit band playing locally. To get a reaction like that where someone has been genuinely moved and not even because of what we did but because the zeitgeist of the moment was such that the bullshit of life was not bothering him for that second. I mean, you can live the rest of your life happy that for a fleeting moment you played a small part in somebody having a degree of, for lack of a better word, hope, that there are still corners of the world where just because you can do something cool, you do it. Without there being any other motivation other than, hey, life can at its moments be a fantastically interesting and awesome, uplifting experience.

Looking out at our crowd it’s a polyglot of different people. We have the co-eds over here and then the metal guys and then the old fans of classic rock and then the hipsters and the hiphop guys. Just seeing people react to us being like, hey we think this is good from stem to stern. Seeing people from all walks of life walking out with a smile on their face…

Junior: It’s a good high.

J.T.: What we hope to impart is that, you can have the courage of your convictions to do something unique to you. That life does not belong in a box. That it’s ok to sprinkle stardust and belt rainbows.

Carla: It’s nice to get that feeling today especially at a time when everything is so safe and homogenous.

JT: We are just a part of the greater longing for things to not be so banal and streamlined and corporatized and mechanized.
If things are done well, they can get a genuine reaction. Our biggest skeptics, the people that we have to fight against are the ones that won’t book us and are like ‘well this is real fruity. I don’t know what to do with this.’ It has proven to be a stumbling block for us, that is until we play. Then they get it. It took us a long time to find the right venues to play but we are really grateful for the Blackheart, Hole in the Wall, Swandive, and the Mohawk.

Junior: Over the last couple years, radio has also been very supportive. KUT and KLBJ have really embraced us. They do us a service by letting the fans know: look you’re gonna enjoy the visuals, you’re gonna enjoy the drama of it all, but check out this music. It’s taken a while but the dams have started to opened. It wasn’t immediate but it’s really gratifying.

Carla: The gratification comes from a pretty deep place, one that has taken an evolution to get to.

Junior: It’s like when you first start making love. You forget that it’s a communication with another human being. You work on your moves, you want to be good, you want to be sexy. Sometimes you even think about whether you have the right underwear on and your hair is working. You become focused on the external stuff, even to the point where it ruins the mood. I remember the first time someone express to me that laughter in the middle of love making is not a bad thing. It took me a while to understand. Performance can be a lot like that. We walk onto the stage with all of these notions about how it should be performed, how it should be received, how seriously do I need to be taken. But if you actually allow yourself to give into the moment…you know, a little bit of laughter during lovemaking can make it even better. There’s a letting go spiritually that has to happen for us to do what we do. What I notice in the crowd, not only is it that we embolden them to let their freak flag fly but on a deeper level, the sense of…letting go and enjoying yourself even if it creates an awkward moment. There’s a liberation to that. - AMFM Magazine


Sparkling and theatrical, Chasca is more than your Saturday night background music. When you see these five glamorous alt rockers jam out, it’s impossible to focus your attention elsewhere. Rocking Jethro Tull-inspired flute solos, edgy power chords, and shredding guitar licks will have you shaking glitter out of your hair all night long. Swan Dive will transform into the Chasca arena come Saturday night, and you won’t want to miss a single note. - TourWorthy.com


If you take your rock ‘n’ roll with a generous dose of sexiness and beautifully twisted humor, Chasca is here for you in true cabaret form, darling. There’s no resisting their sultry, sizzling, sweaty high-energy rock, amped even higher with electrifying ensembles a la Ziggy Stardust-era Bowie by way of Tim Curry‘s Dr. Frank N. Furter fishnets, and a mesmerizing euphoria in their stage presence that commands your attention with theatrical flair. You can’t turn away. You shouldn’t! You’ll miss out on all the delicious depravity.

Make plans to catch the glam tram when Chasca performs tonight at the Hole In the Wall, 2538 Guadalupe. Hooka Hey and The Red Direct share the bill, which guarantees a rowdy and rambunctious night of fun. The insanity kicks in round 10 p.m.

Don’t hold back, honey. So very recommended for a fabulous Friday. - KUTX 98.9FM


“If the eclecticity is what attracted you to Head For The Hills, then you’ll need to brace yourself for the avant-garde showstoppers named Chasca. The perfect breath of classic rock energy cloaked in Rocky Horror theatrics has a way of transfusing glory into the audience.” - KTSW 89.9FM


With much splendor and glitter splatter, Chasca marches into the next EP, Barbarians (2015), and brings us everything from pop progressive rock to heavy metal to piano mini-serenades. Indeed, Chasca always encompasses the perfect balance of accessibilty, adventurous songcrafting, and a full-body good time. The first track, “Salvation,” begins with a rhythm hype and in comes the signature synth melody, (Brittany Paris) ready to make you explode on what’s coming next. Before you know it, you’re going from the catchy chorus to the crowd chant “Our insticts were strong, but our plan was unclear,” and yes, the wall between performer and audience is always broken down with this band. You can be sure all your walls need to come down when you see Chasca in their element.

In fact, let me break from the track description to conjure a placid debate. What do we really experience when we see and hear Chasca? Upon listening to their first EP, Bedtime for Bedlamites (2013), and now having the pleasure of blasting Barbarians in my car, I might hear the flamboyance of David Bowie, the harmonies and progressive qualities of Queen, the power chords of Kiss, the flute excellence of Ian Anderson in Jethro Tull, and all things early heavy metal. However, this all combined with their own style of song-crafting, I feel like I’m hearing a band capable of a strong creative force, one that is boundless and not only ready to entertain but school you on what it takes to enjoy music out in the crowd and not within the confines of your mobile camera.

The second track, “Barbarian,” is a smoldering concotion of nutty, zesty, heavy metal that has given me a sore neck in the morning, to say the least. Sean Hannon on guitar and Junior Scott on bass just kill it with this one! Both this track and “The Muse & the Martyr” (3) showcase frontman, JT Martin, on flute, and his melodies and double-tonguing skills have always been impressive since I first saw him at the Greyhorse in San Marcos three years ago.

On the visual side of things, you have to be prepared for the best, as there is no downfall at a Chasca show. JT is ready to jump all over the stage whether you are doing so in the audience or not, and if you’re not, you really should. Take my most recent example, Chasca at Stonewall Warehouse in San Marcos on September 4, 2015: Not only was the event a tribute and celebration of Freddie Mercury’s birthday, but Chasca’s homegrown congregation was embracing the energy with both arms (and legs) wide open, ready to take it in and release with every booty shake. To provide that extra lift for his costume display (from soldier to devil to pagan to pope), JT was able to galavant on a stage that extends into a runway. The minute I saw the layout, I was ecstatic-they have struck venue-gold! This is not just a rock show, as I have said before in my comments and reviews about Chasca, but performance art, a la Genesis’s theatrics (Peter Gabriel era), the capes of Yes, the stage props of Rush, etc. They shall have big stages and long runways!

The fourth track, “Carry On,” is a powerhouse cover of Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young’s beloved multi-section folk anthem. It is so well done in full-blown distortion, and it is usually one of the encore choices. Chasca also closes with “Cherry Bomb” by The Runaways, giving that rock salute to the fairer sex; as they do with all genders-another reason to take their performance art into account.

JTIt is during “The Stareater Saga Chapter III: Kruella Retooled,” that the band really takes the wall down, and what I mean is they actually sing, “bring it down, bring it down!” Most of the time, the people respond accordingly, and everyone is on the ground ready to adhere to “Pope JT Martin” while Junior and Wiley Koepp on drums keep the beat. If anyone in the room is still standing and retreating behind their phone screens, beer in hand, awkward eyes looking to the side, then those folks are exposed among the kneeling crowd. Of course, they don’t have to join, but I always politely scoff inside when people refuse to have a good time.

“The Stareater…” (5) is a multi-sectional, story-driven delight, where we meet Kruella Stareater in a most daring dialogue, so be prepared to blush upon listening. I feel that this song gives us an emblem of Chasca’s pop progressive art. As each section weaves into the other, synth melodies following, full harmonies soaring, vocal effects on the dialogue, I am enchanted. I think I’m more grateful, too, that a band from San Marcos can keep the magic of rock ‘n’ roll in times like these. If pop music can move your body and rock music can churn out your rebel soul, Chasca can do both, and they do them very well.

For further details on the band, please visit chascamusic.com. The band performs on Saturday, September 12th at The Blackheart. - The Austin Current


There’s no dial to turn down the searing sexiness. You’ll just have to brace yourself. CHASCA has steadily built a hardcore following in their hometown of San Marcos, in Austin and parts beyond through a distinctive, outrageous blend of rock, glam and cabaret fabulousness that would make Minnelli proud. Just kick up the rock ‘n’ roll theatrics and glam flair an extra notch. It’s as if Dr. Frank N. Furter possessed the show, hijacked the mothership, and hightailed it back to transsexual Transylvania with light speed fueled by T Rex, New York Dolls, and a dash of Queen‘s soul fire.

There’s no holding CHASCA back as they celebrate the release of their new album, Barbarians, with a huge release party tomorrow night at the Mohawk, 912 Red River. And it seems it’s a double-release party, paired with Austin-based madcap gypsy punks The Flying Balalaika Brothers and their new album, Panorama. Foot Patrol starts out the night. Doors open at 9 p.m. Recommended. - KUTX 98.9FM


If you aren’t in the central Texas region, you sadly may not have heard of San Marcos based rock revelers Chasca. Fortunately, while I was attending college in San Marcos, a friend invited me to join him for a Chasca show at one of the band’s main stomping grounds: Triple Crown (still to my knowledge the best metal venue in San Marcos, by the way). I found that they were the sort of band that can make you a fan instantly. Their over-the-top stage antics, array of flamboyant costumes, and humorous, sexually charged stage banter do wonders for audience engagement. It’s certainly not style without substance either; their musicianship is tight and their songs are catchy with an adventurous energy (and the occasional jazz flute solo). I went home with an EP and I’ve been to several of their shows since then.

Shortly after I started writing reviews for Progulator I thought, “hey, Chasca have some prog leanings, they’re in my area, I want to give them some more exposure. I should approach them for an interview.”

The use of the word “exposure” is not intended as a double entendre, however if Chasca were using it then it probably would be one.

I asked frontman J.T. Martin after a show at Austin’s Rainey Street bar The Blackheart (which serves mead, by the way) and he was happy to oblige. How exciting; a golden opportunity to get into the minds of Chasca.

(I have my doubts about some of the stories I was told being true, but that’s all part of the fun, is it not?)



Note: For logistical reasons this interview was conducted over messaging between myself and the official Chasca Facebook page between 11/23/14 and 4/3/15 (I’ve been told there was a crisis during a long period of silence, but everyone seems to be ok).



Daniel: What’s the origin story of the band?

J.T: Well, the boys and I all met while we were still in school. I guess it was in Liverpool, 1956, when we first got a skiffle group together called The Peppermen. We played around the usual circuit of Bar Mitzvahs, school dances, and garden fetes but never gained any traction. By 1960 we had changed our sound to pop/rock-n-roll, our name from the Peppermen to The Critters, and our location to London. We had a minor hit with the song, “Oh Boy, here comes a Girl.” Mismanagement soon forced The Critters into bankruptcy and our careers into the proverbial loo. By the mid-1960s we had migrated to San Francisco and retooled our sound from pop to cosmic “thing” music. We also changed our name to The Peterson Dirigible Implosion. We had local success playing the commune circuit but after a while our entire fan base found Jesus and moved to a different commune. So, it was back to square one. We ended up in L.A. in 1970 and worked as Linda Ronstadt’s backing band. She paid us in cocaine and oleander blossoms. By 1972 we were ready to try it again on our own. We headed back to London that year and changed our look from hippie fringe to glam, our sound from laid back to futuristic, our attitude from peaceful to nihilistic, and our name to Wiggy Starsquirt and the Milky Ways. We were playing our debut concert in Watford, England when a burst of ionic lighting hit the stage and sent us hurtling into a temporal wrinkle. By the time we reentered reality it was around 2010 or 12 and we found ourselves in full rock out mode onstage in a club in Austin TX. So it’s been ever since. We like it here in the future–sugar’s more accessible. Oh, not sure where the name came from…The details get a bit hazy after so many years.

Daniel: That’s quite a story. I’m glad our time is working out for you. Where were you before the band began and what led you down the path of delightful debauchery that is Chasca?

J.T: Myself, specifically? I was twinkling afoot along the path of delightful debauchery that is graduate school. I got kicked out for eating bugs though. As to what led me down the path to Chasca? Well sir, it’s like Richard Gere’s character plaintively cries in “An Officer and a Gentlemen,” ‘I got no place else to go!!! ?’

Daniel: Was the overall concept of the band (the wild costumes, the irreverent and bawdy onstage banter, the lyrical themes, etc) established from the beginning or did you build up to it over time?

J.T: The band did start out a bit wild and irreverent and thematic but it also built over time. I think when it was pointed out to us-by a mentor- that no matter what we did, eventually, we would all die, it forced us to really commit to the pointless spectacle and histrionic fatuity that dozens of people all around the county seem to find amusing. And now, after making hundreds of dollars doing it, I think it’s pretty clear that we found what works.

Daniel: What’s the Chasca songwriting process like?

J.T: Well, our songwriting process is very interesting. The songs just sort of write themselves. I mean that. The songs actually write themselves. It’s spooky. We’ll waste hours trying to come up with new material but every couple of weeks, when we show up to our practice space, a new song will be there. How’d it get there? The Devil? It’s really weird and upsetting. I think these songs are out to get us. One song mailed itself to Squeaky Fromme. It had a very graphic lyric content and she was not amused. So now she hates us.

Daniel: Do any particular members take the lead on writing music and lyrics (when the songs aren’t writing themselves)?

J.T: Well, when we try to write a song it is a very collaborative process. Everybody pitches in and has an opinion. Sometimes we have to shout and throw eggs to get a point across. There’s lots of tears and chipped teeth by the time it’s all done. But, in the end, it’s not who comes up with what that’s important-it’s how miserable you can make everyone.

Daniel: Do you generally write the music according to the lyrical concept or vise versa?

J.T: The music comes first. Then we work on the lyrics, which generally consists of plowing through piles of old Mad Libs to try and find something that will work within the rhythmic constraints of the melodic line. It’s definitely a process.

Daniel: Well, some of those mad libs do turn out a fairly coherent story, or at least a coherent concept, whether it’s meeting the devil (“Nick the Dickens”), Aztecs (“Black Corn”) or cannibalistic romances (“The Muse and the Martyr”).

J.T: Don’t forget brawny space vixens getting rogered to death by dildoids then reanimated by perverts…

Daniel: Speaking of “The Muse and the Martyr,” that’s always one of my live favorites. Are there plans to release a studio recording of that song? Perhaps what many fans most want to hear is, are there plans for a full length album in the future?

J.T: In fact, “The Muse and the Martyr” will be on our next EP-to be released in early 2015. As for a full length album, we definitely have plans to do such a thing. Right now we’ve focused on the EP format because it’s just a more practical approach for us. Maybe we should release a double EP? That would be kinda’ post-modern.

Daniel: A new EP sounds exciting. Can you tell me a little more about the upcoming release?

J.T: We are excited about the new EP. We’re a bundle of raw enthusiasm over it all. We recorded the tracks at The Bubble, in Austin, which is where we recorded the previous EP, Bedtime for Bedlamites. Once again we had the honor and thrill of working with the amazing Frenchie Smith and the equally amazing Sean Rolie. I’m not sure exactly when we will release this little piglet into the world, but it will be a squealing good time when we do. Right now we need to come up with a name for the thing. We can’t find one that we all agree on. For instance, Junior wants to call it “Junior Scott: Live at Leeds.” Sean Palmer, on the other hand, wants to call it, “Sean Palmer: Live at Leeds.” We’ll probably just end up calling it Chicago IX.

Daniel: While I know you mentioned that your songs arrive to you fully formed and potentially from infernal sources, are there any key musical influences you would cite? Any musical heroes you’d like to shout out to, if you will?

J.T: Oh man, we have so many musical heroes. It’s probably pretty apparent that we have listened to our fair share of the classic rock greats such as: Rush, Jethro Tull, Queen, Yes, etc… There’s also a fair shade of Sound Garden, Mr. Bungle, and Tool on our palette. We also have a great affection for musical theater. Certainly The Rocky Horror Show/Picture Show has had an impact on our vibe. Other musicals that have influenced us include Xanadu, Grease 2, H.M.S. Pinafore, and The Wiz. Basically if it’s something that sexless nerds would dig, it’s probably right up our alley.

Daniel: J.T., your ever changing costumes and use of the flute always make me think of the Peter Gabriel era of Genesis, but perhaps I’m off-base with that.

J.T: Awesome! You’re on base. I love Peter Gabriel era Genesis. I love the theatrics, I love the compositions, I love the wry dry wit-I LOVE IT ALL. So, yeah, I come to the shows with my own flute, my own costumes, and I play by my own rules. Although I met Peter Gabriel once. He took a swing at me. Not sure what set him off, but the whole night he kept winking at me and telling me that “Peter” was derived from the Latin word for “rock.” Then more winking. I don’t know, man. Maybe he thought I was Steve Hackett?

Daniel: Speaking of all your wild costumes, J.T, do you have any names for the different costumes you switch between during the course of your shows? I generally find myself just referring to them by names such as “Soldier,” “Devil,” “Other Devil,” and “Metal Breast Pope.”

J.T: Those are fine names, but I do have official titles for those characters. The solider is called: Corporal Santos L. Fong, The one devil is called: Caspar Smythe (a.k.a The Beast), the other devil is called: Old Nick, and the “Metal Breast Pope” is called: His Holiness the Bishoprick of Sodom.

Daniel: Splendid. While we’re on the subject of costumes and the visual aspect of the band, it’s my understanding that you have a dedicated makeup artist for all of your performances. How did you cross paths with this wizard of glam?

J.T: We met our makeup artist, Matthew a.k.a. Nix Nova at a show we were playing in San Marcos. There he was, dressed to kill and looking pretty as a picture, and he offered to help us in any way he could. So we asked him to please make us pretty and it’s been blossoms and bees ever since.

Daniel: Are there any plans for shows outside of the San Marcos and Austin area in the near future

J.T: You bet your boots there are. We have started playing in San Antonio regularly, and we’ll be gearing up to stretch our road legs later this spring with shows in San Angelo, Midland, Edinburg, Brownsville, Victoria, and beyond. There will be glitter on the Texas highways before too long…I hope we don’t get lost in Mexico…No, I take that back, I plan on getting lost in Mexico. Poor Mexico, so far from God-so close to Texas.

Daniel: I’ve also heard there’s been a recent lineup change. Can you tell us about the new member or are you still keeping those details under wraps?

J.T: There’s been a real recent lineup change. So recent we still don’t know whether to plotz or steal third. Our beloved Sean Palmer was carried off by a swarm of bees. Pray for him. So, we have been hustling like a March hare on a date to find a replacement. I think we’ll be okay, though. We found our salvation in the form of a screaming banshee named Jo Beth Henderson. She’s got that xx chromosome factor that the band so desperately needs.

Daniel: Well, best of luck to Sean. His tinsely wig and often scantily clad exuberant dancing will be missed, but I’m excited to see what Jo Beth brings to the party. This interview has been pretty wild so far, so I want to end things on a halfway nonsensical note by asking this only tangentially music-related question of you. It can be your personal answer, J.T. or the band can feel free to deliberate and come to a group conclusion.

If you could recast one Terry Gilliam movie with some of your favorite musicians, which movie would it be, which musicians, and who would they play?

J.T: Zonk-that’s the best question I have ever been asked in life let alone in the context of an interview.

Wowza. I like lots of Gilliam’s films, but I definitely am going to have to go with, “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” on this one. As for who would play who, well, wilikers, I guess I’d cast it like this:

Nat King Cole as Raoul Duke

Don Henley as Dr. Gonzo

Meatloaf as The Hitchhiker

Anne Murray as The Waitress at North Star Cafe

Syd Barret as The Highway Patrolman

Aretha Franklin as Lucy

Suzi Quatro as The Magazine Reporter at Mint 400

Sophie Tucker as The Blonde TV Reporter

Vince Neil as The Desk Clerk at Mint Hotel

Dr. Dre as L. Ron Bumquist

Morrisey as The Carnie Talker

Justin Bieber as Lacerda

Wayne Newton as The Road Person

Louis Prima as Hippie

Ted Nugent as Sven, Flamingo Hotel Clerk

John Denver as The Judge

Kenny Loggins as Police Chief

Ian Curtis (voice only) as Debbie Reynolds

Johnny Rotten as Alice the Maid

Kanye West as Wee Waiter

Daniel: I’ll keep this list handy next time I watch it so I can mentally replace all the actors and see how that all pans out. Thanks for granting us an interview. I hope to catch you guys onstage again in the near future.

J.T: Thank you, Daniel! - Progulator


Part Rocky Horror Picture Show, part cabaret, glam rock group Chasca has created a cult following of their own after just playing a couple of years around Texas.

Chasca graced Studio 1A with rock, glitter, and some theatrics for good measure. You can catch their next gig at Tellers on Oct 23rd. - KUTX 98.9 FM


Chasca appeared on KLBJ 93.7FM's "Local Licks" with Loris Lowe on June 16, 2015. Loris interviewed the band, played a few songs of the new EP "Barbarians," and we all learned a little bit about The Bronze Age. - KLBJ 93.7FM


Following Red Fang’s massive show on Mohawk’s outdoor stage last week, inside things geared up as A. Sinclair and Otis The Destroyer prepared their dual EP release with opening band Chasca taking the stage thanks to 101X Homegrown Live. The crowd was almost entirely comprised of those there solely for the indoor show, and they showed up early and eager. I rarely see such a massive turn out before an opener has even gone on, and I quickly discovered why no one wanted to miss the first performance.
Chasca kicked off the night with what can only be described as Rocky Horror meets rock n’ roll. There was a solid front row presence that didn’t hide their enthusiasm or the fact that they were there solely for the San Marcos band. Let’s skip past the makeup and glam for now and address Chasca’s strongest trait: their seamless ability to transition genres with astonishing precision. Their first track “Tom O’ Bedlam” was reminiscent of ’70s era Bowie, (I could’ve sworn I heard a “Golden Years” riff in there), leading right into tastes of metal that my mother would describe as “Satan-worshipping sparkle.” As if to accentuate the point, their wailing devil-centric track “Nick The Dickens” came complete with a rocking bass line would cause Tenacious D to weep with pride. However, Chasca’s theatrics are not just merely entertaining, but they’re integrated brilliantly into the music instead of overshadowing it. Particularly memorable was glammed out lead singer JT Martin donning an army jacket and helmet, punctuating every drum roll by gunning down the audience with his flute during “So Long Crassus,” then demanding the audience drop to their knees as he crooned and commanded in the middle of “See You In Tea” with a mitre fit for only the most rocking of popes balanced atop his head. Despite merely opening for an elite roster, Chasca easily stole the show and was all anyone talked about at the end of the night.

Releasing their new EP Dark Arts, Otis The Destroyer clambered onto stage next. The remnants of The Couch feels familiar and fresh at the same time, as the band performed songs primarily from the EP with a few unreleased tracks, (and did I catch a Bowie cover?), mixed in. Although personally I still feel somewhere there’s a group of metal heads that have been robbed of a band name, there’s no denying Otis’s slow but steady growth since its formation. Decidedly more soulful than The Couch’s later entries, the band seems unafraid to experiment with their sound. The inside stage area of Mohawk quickly filled up as fans filed in to hear the EP premiere performed live. Heading straight into the new tracks, the restrained “Gravity Something” started things off; followed by the unreleased “Robot Hands” that had lead singer Taylor Wilkins’s old school bluesy flair seeping through as the crowd bounded about and rocked around. There were surprisingly no Couch song appearances, as the group seems intent on moving forward and shows no signs of slowing down as they build an impressive brand spankin’ new catalog of music. However the solid set seemed to end too soon as Otis chose to close things out with two remaining tracks from the EP: “You’re The Wealth”, which the band just released their first music video for, and the epic-length “Dark Arts” that showcases the bands forays into a more experimental sounds that keeps on rocking.

I recently reviewed A. Sinclair’s EP Pretty Girls, and was intrigued to see how certain tracks would fare in a live performance. In particular I had hoped the poppy sounds of “Pretty Girls and Pretty Tights” and “Suit Up” might be more cohesive with a live energy. While I found myself actually quite enjoying the slightly off kilter “Pretty Girls and Pretty Tights”, a track that had lacked any impact in its studio form, it was clear from the get go as the crowd emptied out that Sinclair’s more mellows sounds didn’t stand a chance following up Chasca and Otis The Destroyer’s performances.
A. Sinclair powered through and performed most of the EP’s new songs right out of the gate, with bassist Brendan Bond of Hello Caller beautifully harmonizing opposite Sinclair during “Shiny Things.” Energy slowly built through the set as they held back more familiar material towards the end, but Sinclair has been in this business long enough to know that it takes a few times for a new venture to catch on. Despite the dwindling crowd the band continued to deliver an incredible performance of my personal favorite from the new EP, “Throwing Up On The Ground,” which seemed to recapture the audience’s attention if even for a brief moment. All in all, the night was chock full of fantastic performances that proved how skilled Sinclair can be with a guitar in his hands, explored Otis The Destroyer’s adept experimentation with genres and showcased Chasca’s well executed theatrics and songwriting. - ovrld.com


With much splendor and glitter splatter, Chasca marches into the next EP, Barbarians (2015), and brings us everything from pop progressive rock to heavy metal to piano mini­-serenades. Indeed, Chasca always encompasses the perfect balance of accessibility, adventurous song-crafting, and a full-­body good time. The first track, “Salvation,” begins with a rhythm hype and in comes the signature synth melody, (Brittany Paris) ready to make you explode on what’s coming next.

Before you know it, you’re going from the catchy chorus to the crowd chant “Our instincts were strong, but our plan was unclear,” and yes, the wall between performer and audience is always broken down with this band. You can be sure all your walls need to come down when you see Chasca in their element.

In fact, let me break from the track description to conjure a placid debate. What do we really experience when we see and hear Chasca? Upon listening to their first EP, Bedtime for Bedlamites (2013), and now having the pleasure of blasting Barbarians in my car, I might hear the flamboyance of David Bowie, the harmonies and progressive qualities of Queen, the power chords of Kiss, the flute excellence of Ian Anderson in Jethro Tull, and all things early heavy metal. However, this all combined with their own style of song-­crafting, I feel like I’m hearing a band capable of a strong creative force, one that is boundless and not only ready to entertain but school you on what it takes to enjoy music out in the crowd and not within the confines of your mobile camera.

The second track, “Barbarian,” is a smoldering concoction of nutty, zesty, heavy metal that has given me a sore neck in the morning, to say the least. Sean Hannon on guitar and Junior Scott on bass just kill it with this one! Both this track and “The Muse & the Martyr” (3) showcase frontman, JT Martin, on flute, and his melodies and double­-tonguing skills have always been impressive since I first saw him at the Greyhorse in San Marcos three years ago.

On the visual side of things, you have to be prepared for the best, as there is no downfall at a Chasca show. JT is ready to jump all over the stage whether you are doing so in the audience or not, and if you’re not, you really should. Take a previous example, Chasca at Stonewall Warehouse in San Marcos on September 4, 2015: Not only was the event a tribute and celebration of Freddie Mercury’s birthday, but Chasca’s homegrown congregation was embracing the energy with both arms (and legs) wide open, ready to take it in and release with every booty shake. To provide that extra lift for his costume display (from soldier to devil to pagan to pope), JT was able to gallivant on a stage that extends into a runway. The minute I saw the layout, I was ecstatic ­they have struck venue ­gold! This is not just a rock show, as I have said before in my comments and reviews about Chasca, but performance art, a la Genesis’s theatrics (Peter Gabriel era), the capes of Yes, the stage props of Rush, etc. They shall have big stages and long runways!

The fourth track, “Carry On,” is a powerhouse cover of Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young’s beloved multi­-section folk anthem. It is so well done in full ­blown distortion, and it is usually one of the encore choices. Chasca also closes with “Cherry Bomb” by The Runaways, giving that rock salute to the fairer sex; as they do with all genders – another reason to take their performance art into account.

It is during “The Stareater Saga Chapter III: Kruella Retooled,” that the band really takes the wall down, and what I mean is they actually sing, “bring it down, bring it down!” Most of the time, the people respond accordingly, and everyone is on the ground ready to adhere to “Pope JT Martin” while Junior and Wiley Koepp on drums keep the beat. If anyone in the room is still standing and retreating behind their phone screens, beer in hand, awkward eyes looking to the side, then those folks are exposed among the kneeling crowd. Of course, they don’t have to join, but I always politely scoff inside when people refuse to have a good time.

“The Stareater…” is a multi­-sectional, story­-driven delight, where we meet Kruella Stareater in a most daring dialogue, so be prepared to blush upon listening. I feel that this song gives us an emblem of Chasca’s pop progressive art. As each section weaves into the other, synth melodies following, full harmonies soaring, vocal effects on the dialogue, I am enchanted. I think I’m more grateful, too, that a band from San Marcos can keep the magic of rock ‘n’ roll in times like these. If pop music can move your body and rock music can churn out your rebel soul, Chasca can do both, and they do them very well.

For more information on Chasca, please visit their website: http://chascamusic.com/ - Progulator


When Roy Thomas was a kid, he used to sneak away from Boy Scout camp in Kerrville and head into San Antonio to catch "The Rocky Horror Picture Show."

"When I first saw it, I was awestruck that this thing even existed, where you could go in and immediately be welcomed in; any misfit you want to be is welcome," said Thomas, who grew up to work at various theaters around town, including a couple of stints producing and starring in productions of the similarly themed "Hedwig and the Angry Inch."

"What drew me in was that it was a place to belong, where there were freaks like me who like the same things I do."

The film and the stage musical that preceded it spoofed sci-fi and horror movies, as well as musicals.

In both versions, Brad and Janet, two square souls seeking shelter on a rainy night, find themselves stranded in a castle ruled by Dr. Frank N. Furter, a mad scientist and self-described "sweet transvestite from Transsexual, Transylvania" who has just built his very own very buff companion. From there, things get really weird.

Thomas revisits the film at least once a month as cast coordinator for the "Rocky" shadowcast performances - so called because live actors pantomime and respond to the action while the film plays behind them - at the Alamo Drafthouse Westlakes.

Next week, the shadowcast pays tribute to the 35th anniversary of the film, with screenings Thursday-Oct. 29 at Westlakes and an "old school" midnight screening on Halloween at the Alamo Drafthouse Park North.

They're not the only "Time Warp" in town this month. The Woodlawn Theatre is presenting the stage version of "Rocky," and the Austin-based band Chasca is bringing its "Rocky" revue, which focuses on the music, to Casbeers this weekend.

The anniversary is also being marked with a special edition Blu-ray set, including documentaries, a restored picture and a couple of musical numbers that haven't been available before. And the big 3-5 will be celebrated on television with a "Rocky"-themed episode of Fox's hit series "Glee" airing Tuesday. It includes guest shots from Meat Loaf and Barry Bostwick, who both appeared in the film, as radio station managers. A CD of tunes from the episode was released earlier this week.

Ideally, "Rocky" isn't at a passive experience. Fans turn up dressed as their favorite characters (a bra and a half-slip, say, for those who want to be Janet; a black corset, pearls and spiked heels for those who want to be Dr. Frank); yell comments in response to certain lines; jump up and dance to "Time Warp" as much as space allows; and pull out props to engage with the action.

When the film was all the rage at midnight movie screenings, fans would bring their own stuff to throw at the screen at key points; at the Woodlawn, fans can buy a prop bag for $5. The bag includes, among other things, newspaper to hold over your head as a shield from the rain during the storm scene early on, and a few squares of toilet paper to toss into the air when Dr. Scott, the wheelchair-bound scientist, wheels onto the stage for the first time.

Wherever "Rocky" is performed or screened, "it's always the same," said Thomas, who has performed in the stage version and gone to film screenings across the country. "There's something comforting in that. And you see how timeless it's become."

Which is not to say that every single version is a carbon copy of the others. The Westlakes crew "did a sock puppet 'Rocky Horror'; I'm working on some puppets to do it 'Avenue Q' style," Thomas said. "We try to make it different."

The shadowcast productions, he said, draw audiences of all ages: "People who saw it in the '70s now bring their grandkids. Thanksgiving is one of our biggest shows. We sell out every year on Thanksgiving, and it's always families."

Chasca did its first "Rocky" revue last year at a club in Austin and got such a huge response that the band decided to take it on the road. In addition to Saturday's gig at Casbeers, Chasca is doing it in San Marcos.

"It's really interesting," said guitarist Sean Hannon, who got into "Rocky" when he was a teenager. "We had everybody from the country crowd to the hard core 'Rocky' folks who showed up as a special character; that was really great to see such a cross-section, and to see the appeal that it has cuts across some boundaries."

Part of that appeal, some say, is the message of acceptance. Actor Lee Marshall, who played Dr. Frank N. Furter many times around town before decamping for Los Angeles a few years ago, said, "I think 'Rocky' has the staying power because it really is the one place you can go where you are totally accepted for who you are. You can be free to express yourself without judgment."

Thomas echoed that sentiment. The screenings, he said, are a place where you can "let yourself go, act how you want, be a totally different person. It's freeing to be able to do that once a month." - San Antonio Current


On any given night in San Marcos, you can hear some really fine country music. There’s a chance you can find a punk band playing some amalgamation of punk and contemporary rock. Rap music and hip-hop have their place here, as do ambient and jam bands.

But the only band keeping the glam alive is Chasca. If country music is the barbecue brisket of Texas, then Chasca is the bottle of Big Red, albeit a bottle with a couple of shots of moonshine in it. You can taste that Big Red for yourself Friday night, when Chasca appears at the Gray Horse Saloon, 1904 RR 12.

While Chasca doesn’t fit the generic Texas profile for musicians, the players are, indeed, all Texans. The band is composed of Sean Hannon on guitar, Kelley Higgins on bass and vocals, Scott Long on drums and vocals and J.T. Martin on vocals, piano, percussion and flute.

Hannon and Martin grew up right here in San Marcos, playing in bands throughout their high school and college years.

“Everyone in the band is a native Texan except Sean, who was born in Ohio. Since he’s lived in Texas for over 20 years, we consider him at least an honorary Texan,” said Martin.

So one can’t explain away Chasca’s differences from most Texas music by thinking they are out-of-staters. The band’s sparkle comes from the Texas stars at night. Well, that, and some glittery eye shadow. Chasca’s website at chascamusic.com describes the band as “cerebral glam power pop.” You can see a bit of the band’s work on the site. Prepare to be slightly abashed.

Even the name, Chasca, has an effervescence and that’s actually not a coincidence.

“We are named after the Incan goddess of Dawn and Twilight,” Martin said. “Sean discovered the name when he went to Peru. We liked the name because it was one word and the sound had a refreshing zip to it, kind of like the name of a soda. Chasca is also the protector of virgins which is certainly consistent with the band’s ethos.”

Freddy Mercury, the multi-talented lead singer-songwriter for everybody’s favorite sports anthem band, Queen, once said, “A concert is not a live rendition of our album. It’s a theatrical event.”

Chasca also is a theatrical event. Like Queen, the band has something for everybody. You want anthems? Got ‘em. You want theater? It’s in there. Feather boas, masks and costumes? Oh, yes. Chasca is more than just modern rock with a glam slant. It is an event as refreshing as a fizzy pop. Glam rock, when it’s done right, is more than just posing and posturing. It’s tragedy and comedy, the surreal and the serendipitous. Chasca is a band that knows this.

Of course, a band with a flutist immediately puts one in mind of Jethro Tull. Not surprisingly, Chasca counts Jethro Tull among its influences.

“Well, there’s a whole slew of ’60s and ’70s bands that have influenced us,” said Martin. ” Obviously, Jethro Tull and Queen have had an impact on our sound and attitude. We have also been influenced by musical theater and the Aesthetic Movement of the late 19th century. Basically, anything with chutzpah and wry moxie motivates us to get off our duffs and get to work.”

The group’s music is original, and the writing of it is mostly collaborative.

“There are no ‘Napoleons’ in this group,” Martin said. “Perhaps there are a couple of Caligulas, but no artistic dictators.”

Hannon points out, though, that “J.T. writes about 99 percent of the lyrics.”

While the band obviously enjoys rock music, the differing musical tastes of the players contribute to the pastiche of the band’s sound. Higgins and Long lean towards jazz. Hannon enjoys classical music, and Martin has enthusiasm for show tunes. All of this blends into the experience that is Chasca.

“Our feeling is that a performance of any kind should be a bit of a spectacle with liberal doses of felicity and self-deprecation,” said Martin. “There’s no shortage of super cool cats making hip music for hip people in this area. And let me just say that is a-okay, if that’s your thing. The experience we want to create for an audience and ourselves more closely resembles Jack Kerouac’s ‘mad ones’.”

Referencing Kerouac, Martin continued, “You know, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes ‘Awww!’ How’s that for pretension?”

The Keroac quotation is a pretty apt description of a Chasca show. One sees a burning desire to shake up the ordinary and shoot off a few fireworks in the band’s work. The band has a regular gig at the Gray Horse Saloon the first Friday of each month, although the gigs are hardly what anybody would term regular or commonplace.

As both music and theater, a lot of work and forethought seems to go into each gig. The costumery alone takes original effort." - San Marcos Mercury


Texas Music Theater will host Weirdfest, a Halloween musical extravaganza featuring a handful of innovative and unusual bands, on Oct. 29.


The Organics
If you go…

Doors at Texas Music Theater, open at 8 p.m. Saturday with music starting up at 9 p.m. Buzz n’ Bangs will open the festivities, followed by the Organics at 10.p.m. Chasca will take the stage at 11 p.m. with One-Eyed Doll striking at midnight. Tickets for Weirdfest are $5 at the door, $8 for attendees ages 18-21. Buy tickets here.

In addition to local favorites Buzz n’ Bangs and the Organics are two bands with, dare we say, eccentric reputations. One-Eyed Doll is an Austin based duo with more than a touch of strange in their costumes and songs. Chasca is a “cerebral glam band” laced with both whims and drama.

Chasca is composed of JT Martin, Sean Hannon, Junior Scott and Sean Palmer and their sound is a cross between Queen, Jethro Tull, Rob Zombie and At The Drive-In. Their performances are as much theater as they are music. Traditionally at this time of year, Chasca has headed up a critically acclaimed Rocky Horror sing-along but this year they will be wreaking their musical havoc at the aptly named Weirdfest.

We caught up with JT Martin and asked him about the Halloween event and what’s new with the band.

Mercury: What kinds of things can attendees expect to happen at Weirdfest?

Martin: Zounds! Attendees should expect the Halloween Miracle! There will be devils and drag queens and baby dolls and lost souls and kinky witchcraft. It will be a sonic feast in honor of the old gods and the new harvest.

Mercury: Should people wear costumes?

Martin: It should be a state mandate that everybody wear costumes…especially to court.

Mercury: We mean should people wear costumes to Weirdfest?

Martin: Of course! People are encouraged to dress up and get weird. Weirdfest should speak to the werewolf in all of us so folks should dig deep and unleash their inner-freak.

Mercury: Even though you are not doing Rocky Horror this year, can we expect a few songs from it?

Martin: With Chasca it’s safe to expect the unexpected.

Mercury: Trick or treat, what is the answer?

Martin: Well, one man’s trick is often another man’s treat.

Mercury: What is your idea of a good costume?

Martin: A good costume reveals the truth and conceals the facts about its wearer.

Mercury: There is one Wiccan tradition that says what you dress up like at Halloween is what you are projecting for the future. Do you think there’s any truth to that?

Martin: I’d say that what you dress up like at your funeral is what you are projecting for the future…But, I mean, those Wiccans know how to party so I can get on board with their rustic truths.

Mercury: Being a “cerebral glam band” in Texas is a pretty brave stance. Have any advice for those who may want to follow in your footsteps?

Martin: Yeah, it’s tough to be cerebral around these parts. My advice would be to get a good lawyer, some iridescent glitter, and a can of bug spray.

Mercury: Pairing you on a bill with One-eyed Doll seems like a good match. Have you ever shared a venue with them before?

Martin: This is our first time. We’re goo-i-fied with excitement! They’re great!

Mercury: What would you say to people who have never heard Chasca before as far as what they will see and hear?

Martin: I’d say they should expect to encounter a full sonic/visual/emotional experience. Be prepared to sing along, share your pain, lose your inhibitions and ravage the night: Bees swarm, legends are born, babies coo, heroes are made, virtues are lost, dogs bark. We can be titans of irreverence and sensuality together. Not a bad way to spend an evening.

Mercury: Every kid always likes the people who give out Snickers and M&Ms at Halloween. If you could go trick or treating now what would be your favorite treat? Legal treat, we mean.

Martin: Maybe those yum yum crunches, caramel crabs, powdered flavor loaf, peanut gum, globsters, everlasting heart stoppers, and mouthfuls of cinna-chew.

Mercury: What is your best Halloween memory?

Martin: One year in county lock-up I was voted Queen of the Harvest Festival.

Mercury: Is the band working on a CD for release soon? Got some new songs? Have a good recipe for biscuits? Words of wisdom, maybe?

Martin: The band is working on preparing material for a new CD in 2012. We have new material in the works and joy in our hearts. When times get dark, and the do occasionally, we are reminded of the cheery words of Joseph Conrad who said, “Art is long and life is short and success is very far off.” Happy Halloween! - San Marcos Mercury


Picture layout and interview section - RockStar Magazine - November 2013


While the fashion/style calendar doesn’t say that it’s time for a glam rock revival, don’t tell these Austinites — the guy on the mic wore a lovely lingerie outfit and stockings that were torn with runs. The band had the right look, energy and fun that you’d hope for, even having a contingent of fans there, yelling along with the lyrics. As a bonus, the singer was actually a good flute-tooter too. - The Blot Magazine


gallery of pictures. Chasca is #77! - NPR All Songs Considered


Discography

Barbarians (June 2015)
produced by Chris "Frenchie" Smith at Bubble Studios, Austin, TX

Bedtime For Bedlamites (October 2013)
produced by Chris "Frenchie" Smith at Bubble Studios, Austin, TX

Paint The Sky (2010)

Photos

Bio

Laurie Gallardo, of Austin’s KUTX, summed it up quite nicely when she wrote:

“a distinctive, outrageous blend of rock, glam and cabaret fabulousness that would make Minnelli proud. Just kick up the rock ‘n’ roll theatrics and glam flair an extra notch. It’s as if Dr. Frank N. Furter possessed the show, hijacked the mothership, and hightailed it back to transsexual Transylvania with light speed fueled by T Rex, New York Dolls, and a dash of Queen‘s soul fire.”

Yes. That.

Chasca is a five-piece rock band based in San Marcos, Texas. They have just recently released “Barbarians”, the follow-up to their acclaimed debut EP “Bedtime for Bedlamites”, which reunites the band with mad scientist and uber-producer Chris “Frenchie” Smith at his Bubble Studios in Austin, Texas.

Frenchie is best known for his work with bands like The Darkness, Jet, Built To Spill, Meat Puppets, and his tenure in his bands 16 Deluxe and Young Heart Attack.

Chasca has been playing throughout central Texas for a couple of years and have quickly built an increasingly fanatic fan base with their unique brand of cabaret-glam rock and roll. Sparks fly, devils grin, babies coo, dogs howl. Favorite local venues in Austin include ongoing appearances at The Blackheart, where the band was recently shutdown mid-song so the Fire Marshal could clear the packed venue (sorry Blackheart! Kisses!), The Mohawk, and soon-to-be-missed Hole in The Wall, to name a few, and the band has recently begun touring through the dark corners, including repeated visits to The Valley and strange, alien landscapes like Victoria, Texas.

Chasca is: JT Martin (lead vocals, flute), Sean Hannon (guitars), Junior Scott (bass, vocals), Brittany Paris (keyboards, vocals)) and Wiley Koepp (drums).

Band Members