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Ween is an American experimental rock group formed in 1984 in New Hope.

Ween is an American experimental rock group formed in 1984 in New Hope, Pennsylvania by central members Aaron Freeman (Gene Ween) and Mickey Melchiondo (Dean Ween) whom 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 who 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.

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.” Ween were often compared in their early years to other offbeat artists such as Frank Zappa and Tom Waits, though they would eschew such comparisons.

Ween 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.

1992’s “Pure Guava,” the first of a series of releases on the Elektra label, featured their highest charting single, “Push th' Little Daisies” 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.

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. “Chocolate and Cheese” was also produced by Andrew Weiss, who has gone on to produce the majority of Ween's albums and become the duo's primary collaborator in the studio.

Ween turned to Nashville studio musicians for the recording of 1996’s “12 Golden Country Greats” which only contained ten tracks. The nautically themed album “The Mollusk” followed in 1997. This album saw the band dabbling in a variety of genres, including 1960's Brit-pop, sea shanties, Broadway show tunes, and especially progressive rock.

The band's desire to pursue alternate forms of media led to the MP3-only 1999 release “Craters of the Sac,” 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 in 2000 by “White Pepper,” their pop-themed album and final studio set for Elektra. Shortly after the release of “White Pepper” Ween started the Internet radio station WeenRadio. The band 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 album 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 in 2007 on Rounder Records.

Ween formed their own label in 2001, Chocodog Records, which oversaw the release of several self-produced live sets.


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