By day, Shane Marstiller drives the Station 5 firetruck for the Town of Hilton Head Fire and Rescue. By night, he strums a Les Paul guitar and sings lead vocals for local party band Quick Trixie.
Two years ago, Marstiller, a resident of Bluffton, formed the band with bassist Josh Kirk and drummer Travis Goudy as something fun to do. All three have day jobs. Kirk is a fourth-grade teacher at Bluffton Elementary School and Goudy is an aircraft mechanic. But they enjoy channeling their inner Springsteens, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Nirvanas at bars on the weekends.
Little by little, Marstiller moved away from covers and began writing his own songs. On May 2, he'll release his first EP, "Counting Down the Days," and play a show at The Smokehouse on Hilton Head Island. Quick Trixie, La Bodega and Jared Templeton will also perform.
Making an album is something he's always wanted to do, Marstiller said. His chance came in November after playing his first solo acoustic show at the Swampfire Showdown. After his set, John Cranford of local band Cranford Hollow approached Marstiller about producing an album.
"I've never done anything like this, so it was fun working with people who have musical backgrounds," Marstiller said. "(Cranford) has been more than helpful."
Marstiller said three-track "Counting Down the Days" is "a little bit of country, a little bit of rock" and "a little bit of pop," but that putting it in one genre is difficult.
His musical influences include rock band Watershed and Bruce Springsteen, and anything that's catchy.
"If it can get stuck in your head, I like it," he said.
Moving out of his '90s-rock-cover comfort zone and into unknown musical territory was unnerving, Marstiller said, but worthwhile because he was creating something original.
"It's scary at first, because you know people don't know it ... but as soon as you get into it, it's awesome."
Quick Trixie has started to play some of Marstiller's songs, and he said he hopes the band can one day be known for original music.
As a firefighter, Marstiller's schedule is conducive to his music interests, as he works one day on, two days off. He can play loudly in the garage in the middle of the day without bothering his wife, Jenna, or the neighbors. And he enjoys the support from his fellow firefighters at work and at shows.
"If it wasn't for them, the band wouldn't have continued," he said. "When you first start out, nobody goes to your shows except for you family. I have a family of 150 that are always there."
Marstiller said he's already working on another EP, but he doesn't think he wants to do a full album, preferring to feature just a few tracks at a time. He has no aspirations to make it big. He simply wants to produce music that's fun and sounds good.
"It's not really complex. It's not moody. It's not dark," he said.
"I just want people to enjoy it."
Follow reporter Erin Shaw at twitter.com/IPBG_ErinShaw.