IT AIN'T EASY BEIN' WEEN: MICKEY MELCHIONDO

It's hard to believe Ween has been around for 20 years. And no matter what your definitions of fame and success are, it's impossible to be wrong about Ween. It's no secret they have had trouble with acceptance--both wanting and getting--but their punk rock smugness has allowed for devil-may-care posturing.

Their first album's title [GodWeenSatan: The Oneness] couldn't be more accurate: Ween falls somewhere between God and Satan. For starters, Dean (Mickey Melchiondo) and Gene (Aaron Freeman) Ween are completely irreverent. It seems they do whatever the hell they want, whenever the hell they want, within or without the bounds of good taste--as long as it gets them off. Their music is often a reflection of that aesthetic, often leaving potential fans by the wayside, cowering in disdain.

They have never won a major music industry award, they're almost never listed in the pages of Billboard, and unless you live in proximity of a free-form radio station, you won't hear their music pumping across the airwaves. No, Ween pretty much comes up short on all the modern measures of success. But Melchiondo really couldn't care less. "Although I don't care about making millions and being #1 on Billboard, I do want the music to reach as many people as possible. Because that's what makes it worth it. You just want the people who need to hear it to have the opportunity to hear it."

Of course, on the other side of that humble heroism lies blood, sweat, and integrity--the valiant battle scars that have marked Ween for cult status. It's an ironic formula that seems to make them even bigger rock stars. (And if you've ever seen them on Letterman, you know what I'm talking about.) They're the furthest musicians from corporate bootlicks--the term kissing ass is just not in the Boognish lexicon. More importantly, they've never once compromised the essence of Ween for the big-hit formula. "I've been in Ween for 20 years and I'm not that far ahead to be honest with you," Melchiondo explains. "I have like fourteen hundred dollars, you know? And that's cool. I'd love to think that I'm fuckin' punk rock still, somehow. I mean I don't fuckin' give a shit."

As Ween began 2000's ascent with the propulsion of the accessibly pop-ish White Pepper, it looked as though they might fall down just as fast. Issues both personal and professional pervaded the Ween camp in one fell swoop (see Quebec review). Where most bands might have folded, Ween had that seasoned-vet discipline to persevere. Some doubted they'd ever actually get it together, but they just don't know Ween.

You see, Ween has a knack for getting better with each album. And that success has directly translated to their fan base exponentially with each record. Following that trend, their most recent triumph, Quebec, promises to help Ween take another step toward their own affirmation--whatever that might be.

What follows is my conversation with Mr. Melchiondo, or Dean Ween if you prefer. From all I've ever read, it seemed his interview mood would be a crapshoot. Right off the bat he was wary of the "jam" tag that I had pinned to my credentials, so this bumbling exchange could have gone either way for me:

JamBase: How are you?


By Adam Foley
Mickey: Good. Hold on one sec. [Puts phone down as young child makes noise] Hi.

JamBase: Is that your son?

Mickey: Oh, yeah yeah, we're all hanging out.

JamBase: How's that going?

Mickey: How's that going? [Chuckles mockingly]

The family?

Oh. Fine. [Same chuckle] Thank you.

[But I got lucky, and he went with it. It helped that he was enjoying some down time at home in New Hope in the middle of Ween's most recent tour. He seemed ready to talk. And eager to rant. Deaner is an interviewer's dream, because he says anything and everything on his mind. And he doesn't stop a topic until he's done.]

I know you hate interviews, so I'll try to keep it painless.

Aw, no, no... [Pause] I don't hate 'em all.

How's the tour going?

Well, we're really not anywhere even near finished. We've done two legs of the tour. We did dates in the spring, too, right before the record came out. It's going well. It's good. This last one was the longest leg of it. I'm only here 'til Monday. Then we go back out.

Yeah, you're going to head to Europe?

Yeah. First we do America for like two and a half weeks. And then after that we're home for like less than two weeks, and then go to Europe 'til Christmas or something.

Nice. That's a long stretch.

Yeah, it's pretty long. We'll probably take some time off earlier in the new year, and then, you know, keep going.


From Ween.com
How's Claude doing on tour?

He's doing great, actually. He's not fully recovered yet. He's still got a lot of lingering physical problems. But he's doing fine. I mean, it's a miracle really.

It really is...

Because we play a long show and we live pretty rough on the road, too. We don't exactly take care of ourselves. It showed a lot of discipline, you know, in taking care of himself... [Both laugh]

Not to mention the way he plays the drums.

Yeah, yeah. He was really determined to make it back, you know? It's amazing, because I was jamming with him the first time he sat back down at the drums after his accident. He kind of had to re-teach himself how to do everything, in a way. Now he's back to where it's just natural again.

It's almost like that Jerry Garcia kind of thing, where he had to re-teach himself how to play guitar after his coma.

Yeah, yeah...

Or he had someone teach...


Bonnaroo from Ween.com
Yeah, but it wasn't like that for him. Plus the physical obstacles to overcome originally. He's pretty conscientious on the road about getting sleep and getting massages. He's not 100% healed. It's not like everything's just fine and the sun breaks through the clouds every morning when he wakes up, you know? He's in a lot of pain and he still hasn't got much feeling on the one side of his body, so to watch him, you wouldn't even really know how hard the guy fuckin' worked to get back. But he's doing well and kicking ass.

Good to hear. Let's talk about Quebec [Kwa-beck] a little bit.

Ok.

Or Quebec [Keh-beck]. How do you say it? The Canadian way?

No, Quebec [Kwa-beck].

Is there any significance to naming it that?


From Twintone.com
Yeah, it's just like anything else with our lyrics [laughs]. The first thing you want to accomplish is have something that sounds good, you know? Make people wonder what it means more than anything. It's kind of like a vibe thing with the record. It's sort of... For a while there we weren't really revealing what the significance was. We weren't saying one way or the other. But it's just kind of a vibe thing. If you've ever been up in Quebec City or Montreal, Quebec is sort of like this brown version of France [both laugh]. It doesn't have the class or whatever. It's not exotic, really [both laugh]. Kind of like a B version--on a romantic level. Like our record is sort of rainy and dreary, sort of doesn't have the class of Jacques Brel or something like that. It's more like an autistic Leonard Cohen kind of vibe or something [both burst into laughter] Which, I think he's from up there [Cohen is from Montreal--Ed]. So we called the record Quebec, it was like right in line with the vibe of the record. Plus it's a fucked up word to look at [more laughter].

That's what I noticed right away--it's a different mood for this record. You definitely still have some of the brown Ween elements in there, but what about the songwriting process for this? Was there one?

Yeah, well, it's pretty much remained unchanged over the years. This record wasn't done really any differently than like The Mollusk and White Pepper or the country record [12 Golden Country Greats]. I mean for the last like four records--studio albums--we go away. You know Aaron and I haven't lived together since around the time of Chocolate and Cheese. So, when we used to live together, we were recording all of the time. And the process back then was a tiny bit different, where.... [Pause] I guess it probably wasn't different at all. We would just have this huge batch of songs accumulated after a year and then we would choose from them. But we haven't lived together for over ten years now and since then we do vacation trips. You know, we bring songs individually to Ween, but to write for a Ween record, we go away. We actually rented the same house where we did The Mollusk down in Long Beach Island in New Jersey, right on the ocean. There's nobody there but us. We rented that place for like three months. And we'd go down there from like Monday through Wednesday or Thursday and we set up recording equipment on the first day when we get there. So we’ll drive down, it's a couple hours away, and we'd just live there for like four or five days a week and record and write together. We did that this time in a couple different houses. We did some stuff in the garage behind Aaron's house. We rented a house up in the Poconos, the mountains in Pennsylvania. That's exactly how The Mollusk was done, and White Pepper. Except with White Pepper we redid everything in the studio when we were done. But for The Mollusk and this record, we took what we did down in these places and brought them into a studio--which is actually Andrew Weiss' living room. And then transferred them, and then did overdubs and fixes and some songs we re-recorded entirely. But it's kind of like scraps of everything we've done in the last couple years. And then we pooled it all together and picked the best shit and then just worked on it.

So, you just built on demos?

Yeah, but the process is a lot different. I mean it's different for every song. A lot of times we sit down, like you would imagine a guy with a notebook and a pen and a guitar, and write songs. And then a lot of times the songs come out of being experimental. We just sit down and start playing with the gear, or playing two guitars, and you know, get an idea and then work on it. But it's always different, except that we are together, isolated, and working.

Do you guys both still live around New Hope?

Mm-hm.

Nice. So then you just get away to be away.


From Theplexonline.com
Well we have families and all. So, you know what I mean? When we lived together we were constantly recording. It's harder for us to work at home now and you just don't want the distractions. It's better to take that time, set it aside, and you value your time a lot more that way, you know? It's actually a lot more productive for us, we get more done now because we need the time.

I've heard you say before that when you're done with a record, you're done with it. You don't even listen to it. You don't even look back on it at all.

Well when it comes out, yeah.

Is that the same thing with Quebec?

Yeah, I mean all the records. You get stuck listening to the fucking things so much to the point where it doesn't move you at all. It's more mechanical. After you go through the process, you get the initial spark of like writing the inspiration. You write a song, and then record it. By the time you're done with it, you're making sure the hi-hat is loud enough. And then by the time you're done with that, you're going into rehearsals for a tour and playing the songs live, and then you play them out for a year on tour or whatever. You know, then it's like, what do you want to listen to on your down time? Anything but that.

What do you listen to?

I listen to music every day.

Lately, what's your favorite?

Ah... [Pause] I've been listening to a lot of Duke Ellington. I've been listening to a lot of, like, this one era of rock. I mean it's nothing new for me. It's the same shit as when I was a teenager, like the Stooges and Lou Reed and Bowie. All these Bowie CDs just got reissued with bonus tracks.

Yeah, I heard about that.


From Twintone.com
I'm like replacing all my vinyl. I had it on vinyl growing up and then I had the Rykodisc releases, then they're on another label, now they're on another label. So every time he does it, he repackages them and puts new bonus tracks on it and new liner notes, and I buy them every time.

I'm having the same problem with my vinyl.

Yeah, I mean, I listen to music every day but I don't even know what's on the radio, really. I buy tons of CDs but it's mostly...

Well, you were on the radio, weren't you? With Queens of the Stone Age? [Deaner guests on the Queens' 2002 Songs for the Deaf opus.]

On the radio? What do you mean?

I don't know, the tunes you did with them.

Oh yeah, yeah, yeah. I played on three tracks for that record.

Which is a kick-ass fuckin' album, by the way.

It is a great record. I didn't play on any of the singles, though.


Homme from Massconcerts.com
Josh Homme [Queens' front man] is a big fan?

Well no, he's like my fuckin' bro, man.

Oh really?

Yeah. I played on three records that we did together in the last year.

Right, I know. The Desert Sessions...

We did The Desert Sessions thing that just came out and then Mark Lanegan has two new albums coming out. I play guitar on those, too.

How did you hook up with them?

Well we were touring with Kyuss back in like '93 and '94, and we were both on Elektra with the same A&R guy who signed both of us. We have a lot of history with them. They're really like our only friends in bands.

Really?

Living here is not like living in New York, you know? We don't open for people. We don't have people open for us. They're like one of the only bands that we've ever toured with more than once, because we love each other's shit and we're really close friends. I talk to those guys all the time. We're really close. It's more than just a guest appearance on their record. I mean, we hang out. Those guys are our bros, that's all I can say.

That's cool. I have to say, they seem like a good choice, man.


By Wes Fredsell
With all the fake rock 'n' roll around these days, you listen to the radio and it's like fake rock 'n' roll. It has this appearance of being like dangerous and edgy and aggressive, but it's not.

It's all the same shit, too.

It's shit. It's nu-metal and it's crap. It's actually more wimpy--you know this supposed to be metal and guitar music--it's fuckin' more wimpy, or it's as wimpy as like Britney or any of that shit. It's mainstream corporate music. It's terrible. It's just as packaged and calculated and phony as Britney or whatever. And I know that sounds kinda bullshit, but it is. It's not real. It's not real music. They're poseurs, they're fake. And those guys [Queens Of The Stone Age) are the one valid rock 'n' roll band that actually is around right now. Hard rock band. That's fuckin'... It's... It’s kind of a shame, really.

The only good thing about all these shit bands is that they'll go away pretty soon.

Yeah, I don't know, man.

But I guess somebody else will just come along with the same kind of thing.


From Ween.com
Well since like the early '90s, Nirvana kind of changed everything, you know? They were a great band. I remember hearing Pearl Jam for the first time and thinking, "man these guys are fucking like Nirvana rip-offs, the guy sings like Kurt Cobain." And then you hear like Stone Temple Pilots and it sounds like he's ripping off the guy from Pearl Jam. And now looking back, those bands really aren't that bad [both laugh]. At the time, I was being like a player hater, you know? Like, "fuck this shit," you know? And now, you hear the Stone Temple Pilots shit and it sounds great. It's like... fuck man, you had no idea how much worse it was gonna get, but it's perpetuated itself with bands like Bush that were ripping off fuckin' Stone Temple Pilots. There's like twelve generations later of bands ripping off bands that have ripped off shit that wasn't very good to begin with, you know? And it's really kind of a drag [both laugh]. It's really a drag. All you have to do is put on rock radio and hear one measure before you know you want to turn it off.

It's terrible.

It's awful.

[Laughs] I'm glad to hear you go off like that.

It's not real, you know what I mean? It's not real music.

If you could kick any musician's ass, who would it be? It sounds like you probably got a lot.

Me? Well... I don't.

Oh come on.


Creed from Creedtickets.org
Yeah, I try not... I mean if I could kick someone's ass? I mean that would take some time to really think about someone that I think is just outright, OK, the guy from Creed, probably. Not only is it the worst music in the world, he's cocky and uppity. I don't know their songs other than their singles, but I get free subscriptions to a lot of music magazines because I'm in a band, and [voice gets aggravated] this shit won't hold up. It won't stand the test of time, like you said. It's funny, I read something, and I know it's true--it has to be true--that they have software that the music marketing companies have that analyzes the hits on modern-rock radio and it looks for melodic similarities and tempos and whatever Clear Channel is programming. And now the producers are working within these parameters to make hits. I mean, to me, that's just a sign of the apocalypse [both laugh]. That's what it's come to? That's how much goes into music? I know it's true, I've seen it first hand. I've seen the way the labels work with bands now and all, there's no development of bands at all. There's no dues-paying, you don't see a band and get the impression that they've sweated it out in the shed and done van tours and slept on people's floors and ever changed their own fucking guitar strings. You know what I mean?

Well, they're all so fucking young, too. Like, how did they get there so quick?

It's like throwing darts at a dartboard with these companies. Success is measured in terms of hits. And that's it in commercial music now. And it's too bad. Maybe it's like the Roman Empire or something where it has to get so severe before it blows up and implodes on itself.

Even like the '60s. Not to be cliché or anything, but...

It's been a long time since there was a music revolution.

Exactly!


From espn.com
Rap music was probably the last music revolution. Metal lives on. People will always love metal. It's still the music of the kids in a way, but people don't realize that metal--in places like Chile and Argentina and Mexico and other places--Iron Maiden is still selling like millions of records. New records even.

And they're even starting old school metal bands in those countries.

Yeah, yeah! But rap music and hip-hop was the last musical revolution that I can see. The grunge thing--or whatever you want to call it--the early 90s alternative rock. Alternative radio used to mean it was like college radio. It was an alternative to what was on commercial radio. Now it's a genre of music! [Both laugh] If you go like [screams in an Eddie Vedder imitation] "Yeah," that's alternative rock.

For a while, it seemed like all you had to do was sound like Eddie Vedder and you'd be on the radio.

But even like rap and hip-hop now has been watered-down into something. You hear hip-hop in McDonald's commercials and stuff. But something is bound to give. You would think. I don't know. Maybe not with the software that analyzes it and Clear Channel controlling every station in every city.


By Adam Foley
Speaking of commercials, you guys seem to be all over the fuckin' TV now. You've made a second career out of commercials.

A little bit. It's not really reflecting in our paychecks, I know that much.

What about this Honda thing? Weren't you pissed about that? [Honda optioned Ween's "Ocean Man" for a new ad campaign, unbeknownst to the band.]

Yeah. This is a relatively new thing. People really overestimate Ween if they think that that's something that we're against, or would piss us off. I've been in Ween for 20 years and I'm not that far ahead to be honest with you. I have like fourteen hundred dollars, you know? And that's cool [both laugh]. I'd love to think that I'm fuckin' punk rock still, somehow. I mean I don't fuckin' give a shit. It's not like Ween has done so well over the years that now this is gonna like spoil it for everybody. I think like 70,000 people own that record [The Mollusk]. More people have heard it since it went in the Honda commercial than like anything we've ever done.

Which is a shame because it's really one of your best.

I like that record a lot. It [the commercial] didn't have anything to do with us, first of all. Not that I'm backing away from what I said, I would have fucking done everything I could to have gotten it on the commercial, if I had known about it. It just sort of popped up in there. It's just the way things work with us. We don't pay any attention.

For all the shit music out there, who are your--I don't want to say heroes--but somebody you look up to, musically?

That's currently making music?

Sure. Or dead. Whatever.

Well, my musical heroes have remained unchanged since I was a kid. It's the same stuff--that stuff is permanent, that early stuff that gets you to want to play and be in a band. It's always been The Beatles for me. Hendrix, Parliament/Funkadelic, Prince, the Butthole Surfers.

What about living guys?


Kirkwood by Jim Steinfeldt
Yeah, I mean there's stuff I like. I don't know, heroes? I always wanted to be in a band, or play guitar with Curt Kirkwood from the Meat Puppets. He's always been one of my favorites. The Meat Puppets were never famous, really. They had a moment there, later on in their career, where they got exposed. They had a radio song and they were in the Nirvana Unplugged. But that was one of my favorite bands to go see when I was a kid. You know, Up on the Sun, Meat Puppets II, and Monsters and Huevos and all that shit. That's someone I'd like to play with. And any of the Butthole guys.

Kirkwood's out there.

I've kind of known them over the years. I'm in the same town I grew up in so it's not like--I don't go to parties, I don't go to a lot of gigs and concerts. I love Los Lobos, that's a band that's out there that really does it for me that I'll go see.

It's amazing how underrated those guys are.

Very, very underrated. Well, this is for JamBase, right?

Yeah.


By Adam Foley
Well, I don't know why people are really hip, because Los Lobos, to me... Like people say that Phish filled in a void for the Dead when they were gone, for a variety of reasons. You know, they played long sets, they jam a lot, they changed their set list every night. Los Lobos plays a very long set, they change their set lists all the time, it's as much good, quality guitar that you could want. But their audience is really, really diverse. Really diverse. I just went to see them recently with Buddy Guy. There's a real small Hispanic, Latin contingent there; real adult contemporary kind of like radio vibe; some hippies; some rockers. It's really diverse. But I don't know why they've never managed to get big. They've been doing it forever and they give off the vibe on stage that they have. They have that telepathy going. We had the honor of opening for them. Which, to me, was one of the most memorable shows I ever did, one that I'm most proud of, getting to play with them. We played with them in Hawaii. And they did a two or three hour set, and it was just...

Bad-ass.

It fucking just blew me away! I've seen them a whole shit-load of times, now. They played with Buddy Guy--it was quite a bill--in Philadelphia, at the Kimmel Center, where the orchestra plays.

Are you feeling good now that you're free agents, away from Elektra? I mean Elektra was good to you, but you control your own thing now.


From Metroactive.com
Yeah, it's good. We're doing a lot better financially now, and it's a lot more... I don't want to say it's creatively liberating to us, because you gotta look at the records we did with Elektra. We never really compromised our thing at all. We didn't have a relationship with them. We basically would make our records for them and handed them in, with no communication. Our deal was structured where we didn't even have to have to talk to them--no demos, no nothing. No creative input at all. We did everything on our end and then handed it in when it was done. And so leaving Elektra didn't obviously have any impact on us like that. It just enables us to do things that are a little more creative without contractual obligations. Like, do the records through the website. You know, we don't need permission to do web-casts and give away our music if we want. We can play on anybody's record. And put up an entire thing for download on our website if we want, without having to ask. And having that feeling is nice.

I think it's one of the best things that might have happened in your career.

It is one of the best things. It took a while, though. We had a great run with them. I don't really hold any grudges against them. I thought it was very bold of a label that big to sign us, especially with Pure Guava, the first record. It's a gnarly record for a label that big that has the Eagles and shit on their label, a very mainstream label. And to their credit, they actually liked our band. They didn't keep us there because they didn't like us, you know? We made probably like seven albums for them. They released two albums we did on a four-track [The Pod, Pure Guava], one record we did in Nashville [12 Golden Country Greats], a live record recorded on cassettes [Paintin' the Town Brown]. That's pretty punk rock of them. And they didn't keep us around because they thought we were gonna make millions for the label someday. Maybe we will someday. But I think they just dug our records and kinda hoped that it would happen someday.

Maybe you guys will be the ones to turn all this shit music around then.

I don't know. We don't care to. We're not trying to do that. It's funny because you talk to my folks or something and they're still preoccupied with that. It's sorta like, you know, "Yeah, we got a record coming out, our record's done." My mom listens to it, you know, "I think there's some songs on this that could be on the radio." "Oh, no, it ain't gonna happen, Ma. Sorry." [Both laugh]

I don't know, the past two--White Pepper and Quebec.

There's probably songs on all our records that maybe could. But there's something about us, and the vibe we give off, where people don't even bother trying. I think they think that our intentions are misunderstood. I don't know. I don't even give a shit anyway. It's never been something that concerned me at all.

You guys have a killer fan base and now you're able to just do your own thing.

Yeah, we're doing our own thing. We're making a good living. We're very relaxed right now and excited about Ween again. But you know, the only time I ever was really kinda feeling like that we had a window of opportunity was when Chocolate and Cheese came out. We had done our first few records that were pretty ugly before that. And that record was like a cool record. For us, it was the most, kind of, accessible thing we had done to that point. Because it wasn't on a four-track, we did it in a studio, it probably had the best songs we had ever written to that point. And the radio was at a place in '94 where Ween could get played on the radio. And the week that it came out, Time/Warner fired the entire Elektra staff and brought in a whole new staff and the record just sort of sat there. But after that I realized even though it wasn't an attempt to get on the radio or whatever, it was sort the first time it occurred to me, that a record company is in the business of selling records the way McDonald's is in the business of selling cheeseburgers. At the end of the day, they have a thing they're trying to sell. That's what they do when they go to the office every day.

It's a product, not music.

Yeah, they don't sit around and talk about the creative merit of like one record versus another.

It's pretty obvious.

They just look at bottom lines. And that's fine. That's the way it is. That's reality.

Well, you guys put out those live records off the website on Chocodog Records. Now what about doing your next record on that? You went with Sanctuary this time.

I don't know yet. We may do another record with Sanctuary still.

Do you have a deal with them?


From Twintone.com
Not really. It's like a low-commitment deal. We have the option of doing another one if we want. It's fine for me. I think some day we'll put out records on our own label. I don't think now is the time. You're running a business, you're starting a business and you have to treat it right. Although I don't care about making millions and being #1 on Billboard, I do want the music to reach as many people as possible. Because that's what makes it worth it. You just want the people who need to hear it to have the opportunity to hear it. I don't want to be in a band that sells 5,500 records after selling 100,000 records on the last one.

And be considered a disappointment?

The reason you do it is because you want the people to hear it and dig it. So to do it ourselves, I don't know how much would be sacrificed in that. And I don't know how much energy it would take. I'm not that old, I just turned 33, but I don't want to take the focus off the writing and playing and enjoying it. And I don't want to be preoccupied with having to deal with distributors and stuff like that. And that's my nature, to be involved. We both do, with Ween. And like making sure our T-shirts are cool, and we totally get off on that stuff. So if we were to do a proper Ween studio album on our own label, I would have to get involved. And I just don't know if I want to be a record label owner and give that the same amount of time, or more time, that I do to just being a guitar player that writes songs.

Well yeah, there's a good chance that that could suffer.


From Twintone.com
Well, to do it right--either that or you gotta surround yourself with the kind of people that you trust wholeheartedly. But the thing that's good about Sanctuary is they're not a major label, but they have the infrastructure of one. They're manufactured and distributed by RCA. So your records ship in the same boxes with stuff that's out on RCA right now. So you're not dealing with that system, but you're getting the same opportunity that those bands are getting in record stores. Not on the radio, but the records are getting everywhere. Sanctuary has label affiliates in Spain, in Mexico, every European country, Japan. So, it's good. There's a huge chasm between the major labels and the independent labels, and Sanctuary is the only label in the middle of it. So for right now, it's good. I don't know where Ween will be in three years, on what label. There's a good chance we'll be on our own label.

That's cool. A lot of bands are making a good profit doing that right now, and the music is getting out there.


From Twintone.com
Yeah, you can make a good profit selling 30,000 records on your own label. But if your record got to 100,000 people on the last one, that's a reality of the two. Is it worth the extra $100,000 a year that you made? You've kind of conceded a huge thing right there, in saying "Ok, well this is where I'm at, and this is our audience, and this is where we want to stay, forever and ever and ever." Whereas Ween, every record now, we play to bigger audiences every year. I mean, we just did 4,000 people in Denver, sold out in advance, the last show of the tour. We sold out Roseland Ballroom that we're playing in two weeks, in advance. I mean, that's great. That’s better than we did when White Pepper was out. At that rate, in thirty years, we'll be playing in Giants Stadium. [Both laugh]

Shredding in Giants Stadium.

Unless we put our records out on Shit Fuck Ween Records and we'll be back at John and Peter's in New Hope.

I don't want to be going to Giants Stadium, though.

No, I'm joking. [Both laugh]

Well that's cool. That's all I got. I was told I have to cut you off at a certain point. I appreciate your time man.

Yeah, it was nice talking to you, man.

Yeah, it was very cool of you.

I'm glad you didn't ask me what I thought of Phish and moe. and Widespread Panic.

What would be the point?

Thanks for not making me fucking flounder.

Interviewed by: Scott Caffrey
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[Published on: 11/4/03]

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