Ween is a rock duo formed in 1984 in New Hope, Pennsylvania when Mickey Melchiondo and Aaron Freeman met in a junior high school typing class. They christened themselves with the pseudonyms Dean Ween and Gene Ween respectively, drawing on such punk surname collectives as the Ramones. Thousands of home recordings later, Ween created its own self-contained universe and collected a large underground fanbase. Supposedly the two were visited by a God/Demon named Boognish who directed them to start a rock band.
Their earliest home recordings were anarchic and free-spirited, drawing on influences as far-reaching as the Beatles, Prince, Butthole Surfers, The Residents and the lo-fi punk movement. They self-released 4 cassettes in the late eighties; The Crucial Squeegie Lip, Axis: Bold As Boognish, The Live Brain Wedgie/WAD, and Prime 5. Around this time, Gene also released his own tape, Synthetic Socks, which featured Dean on a few songs. Ween, often compared in their early years to other offbeat artists such as Frank Zappa and They Might Be Giants, would always eschew such comparisons.
Various outside collaborations have also ensued over the years. Dean is a member of the heavy metal side project Moistboyz, and the noise rock group Z-Rock Hawaii is made up of members of Ween and Boredoms. Ween has composed pieces for The X-Files Soundtrack, Schoolhouse Rock Rocks!, Beautiful Girls Soundtrack, Road Trip Soundtrack, Chef Aid, SpongeBob SquarePants, and the Grounded for Life TV theme. They have also worked with Rob Vaughn and Queens of the Stone Age. They also guest starred as puppets on the Comedy Central show Crank Yankers where they gave audiences a preview of their song “Fancypants”.
Dean Ween has been a significant contributer to Queens of the Stone Age and his friend, Joshua Homme’s (of QOTSA) side project Desert Sessions. On QOTSA’s most critically acclaimed album “Songs for the Deaf”, Dean Ween played guitar on Mosquito Song, Do It Again, and Six Shooter.