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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    The Impossible Shapes won’t bend

    Chris Barth loves music so much, he’ll do just about anything to keep his hobby alive.

    “”The last job I had was washing dishes in a bakery,”” the lead singer of Bloomington, Ind., band The Impossible Shapes said. “”I was just kind of sick of it. … That was why I quit.””

    Barth has had a number of jobs since his popular band started touring the country. He’s done psychological experiments for money, considered modeling for art students at his local university, donated plasma regularly and even considered donating sperm.

    “”The weirdest (psychological experiment) was this one where I was basically being interviewed about my psychedelic out-of-body experiences,”” Barth said. “”I talked to this guy who put electrodes into my scalp and I had to stare at blinking patterns of light.”” Apparently, it paid $10 an hour.

    Barth survived on plasma donations for a while, but decided to back off on them because they were making him weak.

    “”I never have fainted; sometimes I feel a little lightheaded and drained after doing it,”” Barth said. He would donate sperm, but he thought it was a little “”weird.””

    Even though he had to survive on temporary jobs that didn’t pay a lot of money, Barth didn’t have to spend that much because he was basically living out of his minivan. Even today, Barth is technically homeless. He stays at friends’ houses and lives in his car.

    It’s getting harder and harder though, and eventually he’ll need a place of his own.

    “”I barely get by making music,”” Barth said. The other members of the band, although not homeless, have similar odd jobs, such as working at carnivals, managing an arts-and-crafts store, and doing construction.

    In addition, many members also have side projects and other bands they work with. While being the lead singer of the Impossible Shapes, Barth is also a member of Normanoak and John Wilkes Booze.

    “”I think all of us doing other projects helps us keep things interesting,”” Barth said. “”We’re able to do our own thing and come together and play together.””

    Barth has been so involved with his different bands, that he hasn’t had much time for his side-side projects, aka, real life.

    “”Music is kind of all I do right now,”” Barth said. “”Just playing music makes me feel better. Writing a song always brightens my day.””

    Barth considers himself a romantic, and writes a lot about love and loss. His last record, Horus, expressed some of the dark times he was going through. Many of his albums have philosophical themes too, as the band delves into deep metaphysical thought on a regular basis.

    “”I like to think a lot about weird things and metaphysics. I studied English and religious studies in college,”” Barth said. “”Everything I do; everything I experience gets in there somewhere – in the songs that I write. My music is kind of an expression of my lifestyle in a way.””

    The Impossible Shapes will be playing with Golden Boots at 36 Chambers, 43 S. Sixth St., Wednesday at 8 p.m. for $5. The show is all ages.

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