DEAN WEEN: KEEPING ROCK DIRTY & MOIST

By Kayceman

"I think that my inspiration with Moistboyz is other shitty rock and roll. As corny as it sounds, rock and roll is as close to a religion as I have. And I will kill someone - I will punch someone in the face, it's important to me - it's important that people understand and agree with me. It's important that people get off on Led Zeppelin or Pink Floyd or whatever it is I really like. And it bothers me to see people getting off on whatever the nu-metal thing of the day is, or fake music that isn't made with any feeling - that's passionless and weak. It's rock and roll. It's a mortal sin to pose, and it's a mortal sin to make pussy music. That's my inspiration for the Moistboyz."


Moistboyz :: Guy Heller & Mickey Melchiondo
Moistboyz is Dean Ween's (aka Mickey Melchiondo) other band, the one he so eloquently broke down for us above. One should be hesitant to call Moistboyz a side-project, as Mickey tells us, "It's kinda funny because I think people look at it like a side-project, but it's not. We have four albums out, and we have five times as many songs that we haven't released. I mean between all the records, I think there's forty tunes, and I'd bet there's one-hundred-and-fifty more. So it's not really a side-project; we know exactly what it is that we need to do when we get together. It's very focused and there is a heavy, heavy work ethic to it." While the Moistboyz output has been prolific, and the content potent, when your other band is of cult legend status like that of Ween, whatever else you do will unquestionably be overshadowed.

KEEPING IT MOIST


Guy Heller :: Moistboyz by Rick Levins
With Ween, Mickey has built one of the most independent, free-reigning, freakish bands of the day. They seem to do whatever they want whenever they want, regardless of record labels, clubs, publicists, managers, or really anyone else's desires or concerns. They are completely self-indulgent and in it for themselves. Yet somehow they are able to get away with it. So why even bother with starting another band when your band does whatever the hell you want anyway? "I've never felt that Ween has restricted me from doing anything musically," Mickey tells us. "It's a different partnership – Ween is very much a partnership – Aaron [Freeman aka Gene Ween] and I split the duties pretty equally, and in Moistboyz it's exactly 50/50 - I write all the music and Guy does all the words." As Mickey thinks back to when he first started Moistboyz with Guy Heller back in 1992, he elaborates, "I know Guy going as far back as my last couple years of high school. So he's local — he's one of my friends. We spend a lot of time hanging out, and he's been on a bunch of Ween records. We were making music together on the four-track, just he and I, and it was taking shape. It was taking a very defined direction, and it was really getting us off – both of us – so we gave it a name: Moistboyz.

With their fourth album, aptly titled IV (Sanctuary 2005), Guy and Mickey have more or less continued to do what the Moistboyz have been doing for thirteen years, make punk-heavy, angry as hell, sleazy-ass rock. There's nothing complicated about it, and in some ways like Ween, it's an acquired taste. But where Ween twists and turns into almost every genre of music, Moistboyz just slam you in the head track after track. Guy screams and yells, and Mickey sloshes on his guitar. It's the kind of music you hear in dark bars late at night where everyone is tattooed, pierced, and pissed. Mickey has no trouble finding the words and tapping into the core of where Moistboyz are coming from: "We want it to terrify people. When you hear it, it should sound like a fucking jet is landing on your house. We want it to sound huge and scary, which is how rock and roll should sound. It should scare the fucking shit out of people, and their parents should hate it. But we also keep it cheap. There's nothing subtle, there's nothing hidden. We're not trying to make art; we're trying to make rock and roll."


Mickey Melchiondo & Mick Preston :: Moistboyz
For those still trying to attach the sound of Ween to that of the Moistboyz, the stretch may be a bit far. Mickey makes it clear, "I'm not gonna compare it [Moistboyz] to the Ween stuff because they are just two very different children. I think that the first Moistboyz, along with The Mollusk by Ween, are two of the best records I have ever been involved with, ever." Mickey continues to dissect the stark differences, "It's [Moistboyz] way more structured. I wouldn't say it's worlds-apart different, but it is different. Ween is very, very, very experimental. For the most part, we're always trying things. And with Moistboyz, we really develop the songs in a piece-by-piece kind of way." This structure versus the freedom of experimenting is perhaps the most accurate way to explain the vast differences between the two bands. While there may be moments of a Ween show, or album, that sound like the Moistboyz, Ween's music refuses to stand still from album to album, song to song, set to set. Part of what makes Ween - Ween is the ability to play a song like "The HIV Song," next to "Stay Forever," next to "Bananas and Blow." Moistboyz show none of this dexterity and no such ADD, maybe that's the point. Moistboyz are straight-ahead in their sound, attitude, and delivery. No gray area, no "Brown," just lots of gritty black.


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