Ashland band 100 Watt Mind's first full-length, studio album, "Out of Night," is an impression of a rock band's lifestyle ... its focus is on those moments spent performing music late at night in bars.
"It's a conceptual album," says lead guitarist Skyler Squglio. "It's based on our live shows and what our lifestyles have become playing those shows. When people come out to see us late at night, they drink, party and get wild. Things are a little spookier at night."
The project was intended to be a seven-song EP, recorded and engineered by Dennis Dragon at his studio in Williams. Near the end of the project, the band members came up with their idea for a full-length recording.
Who: 100 Watt Mind
When: 9 p.m. Friday, Aug. 2
Where: Alex's, 35 N. Main St., Ashland
"Out of Night" turned into a collection of 10 songs mostly written by Squglio, with lyrics by vocalist Brynna Dean.
"It came to us bit by bit, piece by piece," Squglio says. "But it came naturally and fluidly. It was a little too easy. I think a huge part of that was because there were no egos getting in the way."
Squglio and Dean, along with bassist Nathan Hurlocker and drummer Robert Morris, came up with the concept for the album after recording the first seven tracks. Then they wrote the frenetic, punk rock "Out of Night Intro," the first track on the album. It stands as a first impression of what the band represents ... complete authenticity, honesty and no pretenses.
"Nobody's pretending to be anything," Squglio says. "We're just playing music from the heart. When we're being ourselves, the music comes through in a very real way that resonates with our listeners."
"Intro," along with "Out of Control" and "Out of Night Outro," were recorded with engineer Oz Fritz at Prairie Sun Studios in Cotati, Calif., north of San Francisco.
"He's worked with Primus, Tom Waits, Ginger Baker, Iggy Pop, just to name a few," Squglio says. "Our producer, Milan Nikolic, has a lot of studio experience and played the middle man between the engineer and the musicians."
The album's last track, "Outro," is actually a sequence of six tracks — a small rock opera, if you will — about going out at night to hear a live rock show. It holds all of the anticipation, mystery, darkness and excitement of such an experience, accompanied by Dean's deep, powerful vocals, Squglio's versatile electric guitar, and Hurlocker's and Morris' steady bass and drum lines. Nikolic played keys through the six-song medley.
"All of the tracks feed into each other," Squglio says. "It's really intended to be one piece."
Sandwiched between the album's "Intro" and "Outro," Squglio's gritty guitar riffs and Dean's gutsy vocals and lyrics stand out on rockers "Cat Lady," "100 Watt Mind" and "Attack." Other songs feature straight-ahead rock 'n' roll, and "Down on the Streets" and "?" are full of pop hooks. Squglio's guitar on "Streets" has a downright wistful sound to it.
"We don't set out to write songs in the style of any genre," Squglio says. "We can do hard, soft, punk and country. We find a cool line or progression and let intuition take hold. That's why there's such a variety. We're all very much on the same point about what we play. We're not trying to fit in anywhere. We're more of a collective vessel for the group mind."
100 Watt Mind will celebrate the release of "Out of Night" with a show at 9 p.m. Friday, Aug. 2, at Alex's, 35 N. Main St., Ashland. The cover is $5.
The CD will be available at the show and at Amazon, CD Baby, iTunes and Facebook.