Ween live in Edmonton, November 2007
Background information
Origin New Hope, Pennsylvania, USA
Genres Alternative rock, experimental rock, neo-psychedelia, lo-fi
Years active 1984–present
Labels Elektra, Chocodog, Sanctuary, Rounder
Website ween.com
Dean Ween
Gene Ween
Dave Dreiwitz
Claude Coleman Jr.
Glenn McClelland

Ween is an American alternative rock group. They formed in 1984 in New Hope, Pennsylvania when central members Aaron Freeman (Gene Ween) and Mickey Melchiondo (Dean Ween) met in an eighth grade typing class. Ween has a large cult underground fanbase despite being generally unknown in American pop music. The band's style is eclectic, and while they could generally be referred to as rock music, one of their defining tendencies has always been toward experimentation with various styles, often incorporating a strong element of humor and absurdity. Both Gene and Dean are skilled multi-instrumentalists that frequently have overdubbed various instruments on their recordings, though they also record with the regular touring band as well. Gene is normally the lead vocalist and Dean the lead guitarist.


Early years

Their earliest home recordings were drug fueled, anarchic and free-spirited, drawing on influences as far-reaching as R. Stevie Moore, Syd Barrett, The Beatles, Queen, Frank Zappa, Prince, Butthole Surfers, The Residents, and the lo-fi punk movement. They self-released six cassettes in the late eighties: Mrs. Slack, The Crucial Squeegie Lip, Axis: Bold as Boognish, Erica Peterson's Flaming Crib Death, 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 was often compared in their early years to other offbeat artists such as Frank Zappa and Tom Waits, though they would eschew such comparisons. Ween's public debut was a "Purple Haze" cover closing a 1987 talent show. Ween gained local recognition by playing bars in New Hope, PA such as John & Peter's on Main Street, and still frequent the establishment to this day.

Major releases

Ween was signed to Twin/Tone Records in 1989 and released their first album GodWeenSatan: The Oneness. Produced by Andrew Weiss, it was made up of an eclectic 26 tracks.

The band recorded a second album on a four-track cassette recorder from January to October 1990, in an apartment called the Pod, located in Solebury Township, Pennsylvania. This album, The Pod, was released in 1991, named after the apartment where it was recorded. The duo's use of drum machines, pitch-tweaked guitars and vocals and drug-laced humor became a trademark part of their sound. The cover of The Pod was a parody of the cover of the 1975 Leonard Cohen album, The Best of Leonard Cohen, but with the head of Mean Ween (sometime bassist Chris Williams) in place of Cohen's.

Pure Guava, the first of a series of releases on the Elektra label, featured their highest charting single, "Push th' Little Daisies" (1992) which gained them media and MTV attention, as the video was a highlighted target on MTV's Beavis and Butt-head reflecting the annoying quality but high popularity of the song.

Chocolate and Cheese followed in 1994, featuring tracks influenced by 70s pop/rock and soul, such as "Freedom of '76" and "Voodoo Lady," the latter of which appeared on the Road Trip and Dude Where's My Car soundtracks. The "Freedom of '76" music video was directed by Spike Jonze. At this time, Ween began to expand their live and studio line-up, providing both a crisper production sound in the studio and an easier live setup (up until this time, Ween had been using DAT tapes to provide backings for their songs). Chocolate and Cheese was also produced by Andrew Weiss, who has gone on to produce a major of Ween's albums and become the duo's primary collaborator in the studio.

Ween turned to Nashville studio musicians for the recording of 12 Golden Country Greats (1996) which only contained ten tracks. According to Aaron, "That's why it's called 12 Golden Country Greats, even though there's only 10 songs on there. The 'greats' are those Nashville session guys."

The nautically themed album The Mollusk followed in 1997. Some fans and critics consider the album to be a culmination of Ween's penchant for satire, deconstruction, and their appreciative mastery of genres, including 1960's Brit-pop, sea shanties, Broadway show tunes, and especially progressive rock. In 2007, Melchiondo himself named The Mollusk his favorite among Ween's oeuvre.[1]

The band's desire to pursue alternate forms of media led to the MP3-only release Craters of the Sac (1999), presented by Dean for online download and free trade. Elektra Records released a live compilation entitled Paintin' the Town Brown: Ween Live 1990-1998 in 1999.

This was followed by White Pepper (2000), their pop-themed album and final studio set for Elektra. The track "Even If You Don't" was made into a music video directed by the creators of South Park, Trey Parker and Matt Stone. Shortly after the release of White Pepper Ween started the Internet radio station WeenRadio, which was awarded third best Internet music site by Rolling Stone.[2]

Ween signed to Sanctuary Records in 2003 and released quebec, their first studio set in three years.

In 2004, they released Live in Chicago, a DVD and CD set that compiled tracks from two energetic live performances.

In February 2006, Dean and Gene, along with their band, rented an old farmhouse and converted it into a working studio. After writing over 50 songs and recording rough versions through 2006, they picked through them and, with Andrew Weiss as producer, re-recorded album versions for what would become The Friends EP and the full-length La Cucaracha which was released October 23, 2007 on Rounder Records.

Ween formed their own label in 2001, Chocodog Records, which oversaw the release of several self-produced live sets. Paintin' the Town Brown, which was compiled and mastered by the band, was meant to be the first Chocodog release. According to Dean Ween, once the album was completed, Elektra realized the sales potential of the CD and denied Ween the right to release it through Chocodog. Later, Ween released the first official Chocodog album, Live in Toronto (a live recording from the 1996 tour, in which Ween performed with Bobby Ogdin & The Shit Creek Boys). The limited-pressing CD, available exclusively through the band website, became an instant collector's item. Subsequent Chocodog releases (Live at Stubb's and All Request Live) were produced in higher volumes to meet demand. In 2005, the label released the first installment of a rarity compilation series entitled Shinola, and announced plans to re-release the 1987 cassette tape by Gene, Synthetic Socks.

On September 21, 2008, Dean Ween announced on the official Ween website that they planned to release a CD-DVD combo before Christmas of that year. He stated, "This time we’re going to be going all the way back to the days when we were still a duo with a cassette deck in the early 90’s. It’s probably the brownest CD on the Chocodog label yet." That CD was titled At the Cat's Cradle and was recorded live at the Cat's Cradle in Chapel Hill, North Carolina on December 9, 1992. The duo emulated their early performances, using only a Digital Audio Tape (DAT) player for their backing tracks. The package also included a DVD featuring some video of performances from the same era.[3]

On March 10, 2009, Dean Ween announced on the official Ween website that he and Gene had started to rehearse once again. He added that fans should expect to see a "new look" Ween soon.[4] A potential new album was most likely postponed, as no further news about it surfaced.

On February 3, 2010, Ween released a new song, "DC Won't Do You No Good", that became available through a Target Cancer website.

On July 28, 2010, the National Post featured an article with an interview with Dean Ween, in which it was stated that the band is due in the studio this winter to start work on its 12th album.

On August 11th, 2011, Dean quietly released a two-disc, MP3-only collection of songs called The Caesar Demos -- named after the band's original working title for Quebec -- to friends on his Facebook page. In his comment, he stated the songs were all recorded between 2001 and 2003 while drummer Claude Coleman, Jr. was recoving from injuries sustained in a car accident, and that many of the tracks featured only himself and Gene. In addition to a handful of recordings that eventually made the album, the demos feature several alternate takes as well as a number of songs that have remained unreleased. [5][6]

Style and influences

Ween's musical style incorporates elements of genres ranging from country rock,[7] hard rock,[7] punk rock,[8] progressive rock,[8] psychedelic rock,[7] heavy metal[8] and speed metal,[7] to country pop,[9] country folk,[9] honky tonk,[9] flamenco,[8] funk,[8] pop,[8] psychedelic pop[7] and soul.[8] Their lyrics are usually humorous in tone,[10] and their influences include Prince,[11] Thin Lizzy,[11] Queen,[11] The Spinners,[11] Pink Floyd,[11] Beastie Boys,[11] The Beatles,[11] David Bowie,[11] Butthole Surfers,[11] The Dead Milkmen,[11] Led Zeppelin,[11] Meat Puppets,[11] Motörhead,[11] Steely Dan,[11] Talking Heads,[11] They Might Be Giants,[11] Violent Femmes,[11] Frank Zappa,[11] Jimi Hendrix,[11] Bob Seger,[11] Van Halen,[11] Hank Williams,[11] America[11] and Bruce Springsteen.[11]

Ween joined members of Japanese group Boredoms to form noise rock group Z-Rock Hawaii, and Dean is also a member of hardcore band Moistboyz which sometimes features Dave Dreiwitz during live performances.

Artists influenced by Ween include Big Dumb Face.[12]


Current members

Past members

Worked with

  • Jason Fuller – keyboards in touring band 2001
  • Mean Ween (Chris Williams) – bass on "Alone" (The Pod), second vocals on "Little Birdy" (Pure Guava), bass (The Mollusk), live
  • Scott Lowe – second vocal and whistling solo on "Don't Get Too Close" (Pure Guava), various backing vocals (Chocolate and Cheese), second vocal on "Rift" (Shinola, Vol. 1)
  • Pat Frey – drums on "Baby Bitch", "Mango Woman", "I'll Miss You", "Shot Heard 'Round the World"
  • Guy Heller – vocals on "Flies on My Dick" (Pure Guava)
  • Bobby Ogdin, piano; Charlie McCoy, harmonica/trumpet/tuba; Pete Wade, guitar; Buddy Harman, drums; Russ Hicks, steel guitar; Bob Wray, bass; Kip Paxton, bass; Buddy Blackman, banjo; Buddy Spicher, fiddle; Hargus "Pig" Robbins, piano; Dennis Solee, clarinet; Gene Chrisman, drum – musicians on 12 Golden Country Greats
  • Bobby Ogdin & The Shit Creek Boys – Bobby Ogdin, piano; Danny Parks, guitar; Stu Basore, steel guitar; Matt Kohut, bass; Hank Singer, fiddle - touring band 1996/Live In Toronto Canada/Paintin' the Town Brown: Ween Live 1990–1998
  • David Sanborn - Saxophone on "Your Party" [13]



Early independent releases (1986–1989)

Year Title
1985 Mrs. Slack
1986 The Crucial Squeegie Lip
1987 Axis: Bold as Boognish
1987 Erica Peterson's Flaming Crib Death
1988 The Live Brain Wedgie/WAD
1989 Prime 5

List of notable demo tapes

Year Title
1990 The Pod Demos (The Bilboa and Big Timmy Wasserman Tape
1990 Pandy Fackler
1991 Pure Guava Demos
1992 Chocolate and Cheese Demos
1994 12 Golden Country Greats Demos
1995 Mollusk Demos (Released 2007)
1997 White Pepper Demos
2001-2003 (Released 2011) Caesar Demos

Studio albums (1990–present)

Year Title Label
1990 GodWeenSatan: The Oneness Twin/Tone, reissued 2001 Restless
1991 The Pod Shimmy Disc, reissued 1995 Elektra
1992 Pure Guava Elektra
1994 Chocolate & Cheese Elektra
1996 12 Golden Country Greats Elektra
1997 The Mollusk Elektra
1999 Craters of the Sac online only MP3 release
2000 White Pepper Elektra
2003 quebec Sanctuary
2005 Shinola, Vol. 1 Chocodog
2007 La Cucaracha Rounder Records

Live albums

Year Title Label
1999 Paintin' the Town Brown: Ween Live 1990–1998 Elektra
2001 Live In Toronto Canada Chocodog/Schnitzel Records Ltd.
2002 Live at Stubb's 7/2000 Chocodog
2003 All Request Live Chocodog
2004 Live in Chicago Sanctuary
2008 At The Cat's Cradle, 1992 Chocodog/Schnitzel Records Ltd.

EPs and singles

Year Title Label
1992 I'm Fat Vital Music
1992 Push th' Little Daisies Elektra Records
1992 Sky Cruiser Sub Pop
1992 Sky Cruiser EP White Records
1993 Push th' Little Daisies Elektra Records
1994 I Can't Put My Finger On It EP Elektra Records
1994 Freedom of '76 EP Flying Nun Records
1994 Voodoo Lady EP Flying Nun Records
1996 Piss Up a Rope/You Were the Fool EP Flying Nun Records
1996 Piss Up a Rope Diesel Only Records
1997 Mutilated Lips Elektra Records
1997 Ocean Man Elektra Records
2000 Even If You Don't Mushroom Records
2000 Stay Forever Promo EP Mushroom Records
2000 Stay Forever Red Vinyl EP Mushroom Records
2003 Tried and True/Mountains and Buffalo Sanctuary Records
2005 "Monique The Freak" limited edition one sided etched 12" Chocodog/Schnitzel Records Ltd.
2005 "Gabrielle" limited edition one sided brown 7" Chocodog//Schnitzel Records Ltd.
2007 The Friends EP CD and limited edition picture disc 12" Chocodog//Schnitzel Records Ltd.
2010 DC Won't Do You No Good Web release


Year Title Label
1993 En Esch - Cheesy TVT Records
1994 Frente! - Lonely Mushroom Records
1994 A Merry Little Christmas : A Holiday Sampler from Elektra & EastWest Elektra/EastWest
1995 Kostars - Klassics With a K Grand Royal
1995 Used & Recorded by 3RRR Vol.2 Radio Release
1996 Beautiful Girls Miramax / Elektra
1996 Ben Vaughn - Instrumental Stylings Bar None Records
1996 Yoko Ono-Rising Mixes Capitol Records
1996 Schoolhouse Rock! Rocks Atlantic Records
1998 Hub - Hub SLASH RECORDS
1998 Chef Aid: The South Park Album Columbia
1998 The X-Files: The Album WEA
2002 Morvern Callar Warp Records
2004 The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie – Music from the Movie and More... Sire/London/Rhino


  1. ^ Usinger, Mike (2007-11-08). "Dean Ween picks his favourite Ween disc, gives the back story on La Cucaracha". Straight.com. http://www.straight.com/article-117368/dean-ween-picks-his-favourite-ween-disc-gives-the-back-story-on-la-cucaracha. Retrieved 2011-09-14. 
  2. ^ David Kushner, The Top Ten Best Digital Music Entities of 2000, Rolling Stone, December 28, 2000, retrieved October 2, 2007.
  3. ^ "Ween". Chocodog.com. http://www.chocodog.com/chocodog/ween/ween_new/news_fr.html. Retrieved 2011-07-07. 
  4. ^ "Ween". ween. http://www.ween.com. Retrieved 2011-07-07. 
  5. ^ "Ween . Net | Ween News | Ween Tour Dates | Ween Music | Ween Video | Gene Ween | Dean Ween". Ween.net. http://www.ween.net/. Retrieved 2011-09-14. 
  6. ^ Krinkle, Henry (2011-08-15). "HENRY KRINKLE'S HOUSE OF SOUND: Ween: Caesar ("quebec" demos & unreleased tracks)". Henrykrinkle.blogspot.com. http://henrykrinkle.blogspot.com/2011/08/ween-caesar-quebec-demos-unreleased.html. Retrieved 2011-09-14. 
  7. ^ a b c d e Phares, Heather. "The Pod - Ween". AllMusic. http://allmusic.com/album/the-pod-r21651/review. Retrieved 2011-10-10. 
  8. ^ a b c d e f g Phares, Heather. "GodWeenSatan: The Oneness - Ween". AllMusic. http://allmusic.com/album/godweensatan-the-oneness-r21650/review. Retrieved 2011-10-10. 
  9. ^ a b c Thomas, Stephen. "12 Golden Country Greats - Ween". AllMusic. http://www.allmusic.com/album/r237972/review. Retrieved 2011-10-10. 
  10. ^ Ankeny, Jason. "Ween". AllMusic. http://allmusic.com/artist/ween-p14697/biography. Retrieved 2011-10-10. 
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x Ankeny, Jason. "Ween". AllMusic. http://allmusic.com/artist/ween-p14697. Retrieved 2011-10-10. 
  12. ^ McCarthy, Kieran (2001-03-06). "Duke Lion Fights the Terror!! - Bigdumbface". AllMusic. http://www.allmusic.com/album/r523146. Retrieved 2011-10-10. 
  13. ^ "Ween Strikes Back With 'La Cucaracha'". Billboard.com. http://www.billboard.com/news/ween-strikes-back-with-la-cucaracha-1003632880.story#/news/ween-strikes-back-with-la-cucaracha-1003632880.story. Retrieved 2011-09-14. 

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  • ween — /ween/, v.t., v.i. Archaic. 1. to think; suppose. 2. to expect, hope, or intend. [bef. 900; ME wenen, OE wenan to expect; c. G wähnen to imagine, ON vaena, Goth wenjan to hope, expect] * * * …   Universalium

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