The X-Impossibles' dream
X-Impossibles guitarist Heidi Bartel was riding in the group's van during a two-week East Coast tour when the sheer excitement of the lifestyle overcame her. "It was complete freedom," she recalls, "playing music every night and jacking around a new city every day, with no responsibility except arriving on time — no grocery shopping, no mundane chores, none of that!"
As the only female in the five-piece band, she endured some uncomfortable moments on the road ("I heard my share of penis jokes and comments about other girls' boobies"), but Bartel realized she enjoyed touring too much to give it up. Originally, her plan had been to return to her day job after the release party for their national debut CD on Cargo Music, White Knuckle Ride, while her husband — X-Imps vocalist Tim Lumley — hit the road again with a scaled down four-piece version of the band.
"Tim and I being married and owning a home made it kinda difficult to imagine surviving in the rock world without any real income," she says.
But when she heard drummer Morgan Engle tell their label that the X-Imps would "put all the other Cargo bands to shame" via relentless touring, Bartel decided to roll the dice. The couple are selling their Buckhead condo, downsizing their possessions (even giving away their cat) and renting an efficiency apartment from local actor Dean Crownover (We Three Kings). Bartel will stay at her day job until March, when she'll take a leave of absence and re-join the group as they tour with Deadbolt and play SXSW.
Lumley, who has only been outside the U.S. once before, is especially pleased about having his wife along on the X-Imps' European tour this fall, but plans a frugal life on the road. "Budget Traveler is like Penthouse to me," he says. "I flip the pages and fantasize."
The X-Impossibles play at their CD release party, Sat., Feb. 3, at the Echo Lounge.