Interview: Laura Marie – Bathrooms and SXSW

By: Mut Asheru


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Its introduction time! I’ve raised my head outta my soul induced haze for a moment to share with you an artist that I believe has real star quality. While soul music is my forte I’ve come to learn that any singer/songwriter that puts what they truly feel down on paper is a soul artist.

Gotta love that SXSW. Where else can you run into someone in the bathroom of all places, that’ll look at you and utter, “Hey, I’ve seen you on Myspace?” That’s right Laura; we’ve had our eyes on you for a while now.

Laura Marie helped me reach my conclusion. Her album, “Drawn” is an ode to soul-searching experiences. If I had to give her a genre (which I loath doing) would be pop-acoustic-folk. Yeah I just made up a category. Check for the bin title next time to go to a record shop. Not many of those left around, but that’s another article. Laura’s sweet, strong and clear vocals add dimension and life to tunes like “Too Deep” and “Wait”.

Laura has a degree in music education as was a grade school choir director before giving in to her compulsive need to write music. She credits her lyric writing habit as the reason for initially dropping out of the University of Texas at Austin. Years of wandering, writing and waitressing eventually led her back to university to learn how to write the music she was hearing in her head. She studied under composers Alice Gomez and Doug Boyer.

With such honest, heart-felt lyrics we were driven to accost her with a few of our simple-minded questions, such as;

UTM – You mention, being homeless and stuff. Where did your wandering take you?

LM – The wandering was sort a of mental thing. I kind of floated between San Antonio and Austin, sleeping on couches, staying with friends or family and trying to figure out what I was going to do with my life. The only thing that was constant was my lyric writing. I was pretty much a mess back then and there were friends and family that carried me through that time for which I am eternally grateful because, quite honestly, I have no idea how they had the patience to tolerate me. I battled depression for many years. I could have been a poster child for SSRIs. Now, I am totally devoted to alternative ways of dealing with such problems. Particularly, energy medicine and chiropractic. I know that different things work for different people but, this worked for me.

UTM – Who are some of the people you have played with?

LM – I performed with a band called Sofa Kingdom which later became Things Between.  The current rhythm section of San Antonio band Bombasta was part of that group as well as Reza Kaleel of The Third Tree.

UTM – Can you tell me the inspiration for In Code?

LM – In Code was partially about the break up of Things Between and partially about a relationship I’d been in many years before. It was funny how the band breaking up had opened up those old wounds. I’d had the verses written for years but the chorus went through several changes. The band and I are still all friends. Reza and I even perform together but, at the time, I was really torn apart by the whole thing and trying to pretend like I was alright with it. That’s where the chorus came from. My way of dealing with things is to leave myself messages in my songs. I know that people will assume I mean certain things by certain lyrics but, only I know exactly what I’m talking about and that’s my ‘code’. Hence, “In Code”.

UTM – What goes through your mind when you’re performing?

LM – I’m thinking about the meaning of the words when I’m singing. I’m remembering how they affected me, what I was going through, who I am singing to and writing about. I try not to get in the way of myself by thinking too technically. It took me a long time to trust my own abilities as a singer and I don’t want to step on that by second guessing everything I do vocally. Now, performing on guitar is a different story but I’m beginning to trust myself more and more in that respect. Such a nice, talented, humble, and creative person. It almost brings a tear to my eye.

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