The Kooma Interview - Laura Marks

Published: 08th November 2007
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Laura Marks is an actress, writer and singer/keyboardist with the Glasgow-based band, El Presidente. Kooma caught up with Laura to talk dodgy palm readings, guardian angels and following your destiny.

by Kooma journalist Ria Campbell

You played at Glastonbury in June, which is renowned for it's spiritual links. Do you have a strong sense of spirituality?

I do have a sense of spirituality. I don't follow any religion, so I'm a great believer in fate. I love tapping into the unknown. When I was in my teens I frequently experienced deja vu and it would freak me out. Now, because I don't get it as much, I look forward to it.

Have you ever had your palm read or visited a psychic?
Yes, both.

What were your experiences?

I wasn't that impressed with my palm reading. It was very vague and could have applied to anyone with relationship problems. Considering I paid £5 for it in a fancy dress shop, I'm not surprised! I have yet to meet a man called James who will sweep me off my feet. I have however, visited an excellent psychic. What can I say? She was great. Amongst other things, she instantly knew I was a singer, that I had been in the National Scottish Opera and that my best friend is in fashion. I remember feeling very strange afterwards, but enlightened. I would be interested to go back to the same psychic in a few years - just to check!

Have you and the band ever played a gig at a creepy venue?

We haven't played any creepy venues but we did an interview at a very creepy radio station, which was housed in an old orphanage where lots of children are supposed to have died. The DJ took us on a tour and I remember walking into the room where all the sick children stayed. I don't know if it was the air conditioning, but it was freezing. I'm usually a bit sceptical about stories of spirits, but I remember feeling very uneasy in that building.

Have you ever seen or felt a spirit present?

I haven't seen a spirit but I have definitely felt a presence. I was trying to open the door to a recording studio but I couldn't turn the key. I pulled the key away from the lock and felt a hand clasp my wrist and lift my hand up and away from the door. I turned to see who it was but there was no one there, not a soul. I was freaked out for about an hour and then totally forgot about it...until now!

Do you believe in guardian angels?

I think so, yes. I believe there are friends and relatives, who have passed on, that look out for you. My grandfather was an amazing singer and a wonderful character - I think he's looking down on me making sure no one does me harm, just like he did when he was alive.

Do you have any superstitious band rituals that have to be performed for good luck?

Ha ha, yes we do! Before every gig we huddle together and chant a line from one of our album tracks, 'Hanging Around'. It goes, 'Baby it's all gonna be alright, hanging around hanging around!' We do this before every gig and have done for the past four years - that's a lot of chanting. Once we were so rushed to get on stage that we forgot and the sound cut out half way through our performance. I put this down to coincidence but since then, we always do it.

Do you believe in luck or fate?

All of the above. I believe we make a choice about what we want to do, then the outcome of that decision is helped along by elements of luck and whether or not it's just 'meant to be'. I do think we are predestined but that it takes some people longer to reach that destiny than others. I feel I'm destined for other things, but right now I am happy and learning so much, so why not take my time?!

If you weren't sure what to do, would you consider consulting one of Kooma's spiritual friends for guidance?

I've thought about consulting a spiritual person for guidance before, but after doing this interview I would consider it more. You've actually made me reach into my spiritual side and think about it more than I ever have. I would love to see a really amazing psychic - I enjoy being shocked!

What is it that feeds your spirituality?

Everyday life. Everything I do adds to my spiritual awareness. My favourite time of the day is lying in bed at night and letting my mind unfold. I love the way your mind relaxes and all your thoughts tangle into one crazy dream. Dreams - don't get me started on dreams...let's leave that for another day!

Check out Laura's MySpace page at

Copyright 2007

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