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.”
“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.