Earlier this year Ween frontman Aaron Freeman shed his Gene Ween moniker and released his solo debut album, Marvelous Clouds, an album of Rod McKuen covers. As it turns out, the transition will be a permanent one, the 42-year-old rocker told Rolling Stone magazine Tuesday.
After nearly 30 years together, the musical partnership of Freeman and childhood friend Mickey Melchiondo (a.k.a. Dean Ween) has been dissolved.
“It’s time to move on,” Freeman said. “I’m retiring Gene Ween.”
Ween was formed by Freeman and Melchiondo after the two met in eighth grade typing class in 1984. From there a strange, sometimes obscene, but always quirky union was formed between the two who dubbed themselves Gene and Dean Ween.
The band’s early days were forged by drugs and 4-track recorders, but Ween eventually tasted success in the form of MTV with their 1992 music video “Push th’ Little Daisies.”
Since then they’ve released everything from songs about spinal meningitis to a country album with some of the Nashville session musicians who played on Bob Dylan’s Blonde on Blonde.
Freeman said that the breakup was a decision he’d been contemplating for the last eight years.
“In life sometimes, in the universe, you have to close some doors to have others open,” Freeman said.
Freeman said there is no animosity toward his former bandmates or Melchiondo, but stressed that he’s ready to get on with the next part of his career. He’s already plotting the followup to Marvelous Clouds, and said he plans to release an album of original material next.
“It’s important to know that this isn’t a side project,” Freeman said of his solo venture. “I’m forging a new thing for myself. So that’s all. There’s no plans for any records or touring for Ween from my end.”