Underground rock heroes Ween have decided to call it a day according to front man Aaron Freeman. Better known for the last 25 years as Gene Ween, Freeman told Rolling Stone that he is “…retiring Gene Ween” and that “It’s time to move on.”
Freeman and his partner in crime Mickey Melchiondo (aka Dean Ween) met at a New Hope Pennsylvania high school in the mid 1980’s. When asked by Rolling Stone if this indeed was the end, Freeman replied. “Pretty much, yeah. It’s been a long time, 25 years. It was a good run.”
Over the course of their career, the duo released nine studio albums. From 1996’s country record 12 Golden Country Greats to the 2007’s European dance hit Friends there was no genre of music Ween couldn’t dominate. While the band had a few minor hits in the mid 1990’s, it was over the last decade that their popularity took off thanks in large part to legendary live shows. With headline gigs often going well past three hours, Ween went from alt-rock underground heroes to festival headliners playing sold out shows to devoted fans all over the world.
Questions about Ween’s future first came to the forefront 18 months ago after Freeman had a meltdown on stage in Vancouver. While the band did finish their commitments for the year, Freeman spent a significant amount of time in an Arizona rehab facility. While the duo remains on speaking terms, Freeman told Rolling Stone “For me it’s a closed book. In life sometimes, in the universe, you have to close some doors to have others open. There’s no, ‘Goddamn that such and such!’ For me, I’d like to think it’s a door I can close finally.”
Freeman just released his first solo record Marvelous Clouds. The album features thirteen songs originally penned by Rod McKuen. Melchiondo has been spending his time these days on the Jersey Shore running fishing trips. For more information on Mickey’s Guide Service, click here.
Update: Melchiondo just posted the following from his personal Facebook page to the wall of Ween’s Facebook page. So are Ween indeed done? Apparently time shall tell.
Update 2: Freeman has updated his social media status to confirm he has left Ween.