photo credit: Eleanor Schmitt

Band name:

Where are you from?

Who’s in the band and what do they play?
Frances Albatross – bass
Mary Fraser – drums
Anthea Leigh – guitar, vocals

When and how did you become a band?
In 2014 after years of musical hiatus, Anthea came into purchasing a friend’s Gibson SG and started writing on guitar instead of her usual instrument of choice, the synthesizer. She appreciated that no matter how minimalistic or complex it was, any melody on a guitar could be considered a riff. This was very freeing for writing songs. Once she wrote some material, she got the opportunity to play a show at a local yoga studio, so she named her new solo project Wraiths, inspired by industrial processes and ghosts.

A week before her first show, Anthea met Frances at a gallery through a mutual friend. They talked about how hard it was to promote shows without feeling smarmy. Anthea jokingly said, “By the way, I am playing this show in a week. You should come.” Anthea didn’t expect Frances to really come to her show. But she did, and they started jamming soon after.

Mary and Frances had known each other for a few years and played together in Frances’s solo project. Frances introduced them, but Mary and Anthea became fast friends when they saw each other play at local shows in their own respective projects. In late 2015, they all started playing together and the solo +project became a three-piece.

How did you decide on your band name?
Band names are always tough, but Wraiths is simple and says something about the music.

Can you describe your music?
A lot of people say it’s melodic, contemplative, ambient, and ghostly. We would call it droney dreampop.

What bands, musicians (or other things) are your influences/inspiration?
Cocteau Twins, Brian Eno, Gustav Klimt, Chelsea Wolfe, Slowdive, Siouxsie and the Banshees, contemplation in nature.

photo credit: Eleanor Schmitt

Do you have any special rituals to prepare for a show?
Margaritas and Mexican food!

Does your gender identity/presentation influence your music? Has it presented any issues for you?
Yes, a lot of the music in a broad sense is about systemic oppression on a personal level. We recognize that people experience this in different ways with multiple perspectives and identities. No matter what the norm or situation at hand may be, whether it’s social or institutional, it’s a constant battle to value the power of your voice despite forces that try to delegitimize your experience or undercut your credibility. When you feel the weight of the world, returning to nature is one way to reflect and gain perspective. The music is also about these moments.

Gear talk! Tell us about your instruments/pedals/amps/drum set!
Guitar: ‘70s Gibson SG
Pedals: Electro-harmonix Epitome and MXR Overdrive
Drums: Mystery drum set from the ‘70s with Ludwig-esque hardware
Bass: Ibanez

Who are your favorite Detroit musicians/bands?
The Pleasure Seekers, Stevie Wonder, Rebel Kind, Iggy Pop, Stef Chura, Death

What is your favorite song right now?
“Last Dirge” by Conduits

What is your favorite way to unwind?
Biking, being outside.