By Josh Hertzog   Published Sep 02, 2005 at 5:07 AM

{image1}As progressive rock group On A Sun -- a Milwaukee-based band consisting of brothers John, Thomas and Michael McWilliam -- prepares for its Saturday performance at Shank Hall, the McWilliam brothers will also have a few other things in mind.

The five-year-old trio released a new disc, "Watershed," in March. The unique and artsy disc, which hints at Radiohead and Bjork, is the band's first full-length. A four-song EP helped put the group on the music map and earn them many gigs in the Midwest.

In addition, the band recently won an award for one of its videos and has spent the summer playing label showcases and music festivals in New York, Indianapolis, Atlanta, Cincinnati and beyond.

"We had almost 30 songs to pick and choose from (for the album)," says vocalist and guitarist John McWilliam. "We wanted an album with some color to it. It's different, but it's very much us.

"We have progressive elements without the riffs. We use every possible combination to keep it fresh."

On A Sun -- the a name is abbreviated from a recording by the band called "On A Sunday" -- thrives on originality, creativity and brotherly love.

"The band is a gym for the brain," says drummer Mike McWilliam. "It's keeps you young."

"It's a lifeline to the heart," adds John.

Both agree they've been able to put up with each other because they're brothers, while many other bands easily could have gone their separate ways.

"We've seen a lot of bands come and go in our time," says Michael. "We're happy to still be together."

Beyond "Watershed," the band recently won Best Music Video at the independent Planet Ant Film & Video Festival in Detroit for its song "Unraveling." The band used an independent film producer from Milwaukee and the assistance of Independent Edit to master the music video.

"We sent out a copy and filled out an online entry," says John. "All of a sudden, we won, and we got a trophy and gift package."

With a full slate of showcases and other gigs, On A Sun is looking to the future.

"We're looking forward to getting another album out soon," says John. "We don't want to wait it out this time."

On A Sun plays Shank Hall, 1434 N. Farwell Ave. on Saturday, Sept. 3 at 11 p.m. Opening the show is Ryan McIntyre, formerly of Exit, performing an acoustic set at 9 p.m., with The People slated for 10 p.m. Tickets for the 21-and-up show are $6.

On A Sun's Web site is