Ween Break Up

It may be no surprise, as Aaron Freeman (Gene Ween) has branched into solo territory, but Ween, one of rock’s most unusual success stories and most colorful live acts (with a cult fanbase indicative of those labels) is breaking up, according to Freeman himself. Freeman lays it out:

“It’s time to move on,” Freeman told Rolling Stone from his home in New Jersey. “I’m retiring Gene Ween.”

So does that mean the end for Ween, the band that Freeman formed with high school friend Mickey Melchiondo (a.k.a. Dean Ween) in New Hope, Pennsylvania, in the mid-Eighties?

“Pretty much, yeah,” says Freeman. “It’s been a long time, 25 years. It was a good run.”

He continued:

“For me it’s a closed book. In life sometimes, in the universe, you have to close some doors to have others open,” says Freeman. “There’s no, ’Goddamn that such and such!’ For me, I’d like to think it’s a door I can close finally.”

(via Rolling Stone)

Freeman has been milling the decision over for the past eight years, which makes sense; they haven’t put out a long player since 2007′s La Cucaracha, and in recent years have boiled down their typically exhaustive tour schedule (part of the reason was Freeman’s January 2011 meltdown in Vancouver which landed him in a rehab facility). Freeman will soldier on with his solo career and harbors no hard feelings toward his other bandmates.

Ween was formed as a duo in New Hope, PA in 1984, consisting of 14-year-olds Freeman and Mickey Melchiondo who took up the aliases Gene and Dean Ween, respectively, and went on to release indie classics like 1994′s Chocolate & Cheese, the result of a well-documented creative period that honed the band’s odd, always-sneering sensibilities.

There’s no official word from Dean Ween at the moment, though we’ll update when one comes in.

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Comments (14)
  1. guess i’ll go get one last pork roll egg and cheese.

  2. Was sad for a second, but then I realized they will def be back. They are really successful as a touring band and I kind of doubt they are in a position to leave that much money on the table.

  3. I am… saddened by this news. However, Ween has given us a lot of great music over the years, and I have to respect Aaron Freeman’s decision. And now, I’m going to jam some Ween into my earholes.

  4. As long as he’s doing a solo career. You always need a bit o’ Gene in your life.

    • Agreed. But I will certainly miss Deaner’s input. Listening to Marvelous Clouds, I kept waiting for Deaner to shred the pristine backing band into oblivion.

  5. I never got to see them live!!

  6. I refuse to believe this is the last we’ll see of Ween.

  7. Lucky to have seen them live, truly an amazing and underrated band. These guys have such magnificent talent and truly were one of the greatest bands of the past decade or two.

  8. Today I am sad. However, Their latest shows were becoming predictable, and they weren’t putting out much new material. I think the others are right–there will probably be subsequent tours. I don’t think it will be within the next five years though.

  9. ‘Push The Little Daisies’ reminds me of every white trash fuckhead from the valley that ever stumble across my path. It’s the one WEEN song I removed from my collection. Too bad you posted it here, Stereogum. It’s shit.

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