Aaron Freeman pulls the plug on Ween
If you’ve ever spent any time worshipping the Boognish in a bong-addled haze, it’s time to officially strap on the black armband.
In an interview with RollingStone.com, singer Aaron Freeman—better known to Ween fans as Gene Ween—has announced that, as far as he’s concerned, the long-running alt-rock cult heroes are officially through.
“For me it’s a closed book,” Freeman told the site’s Darren Levin. “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.”
Those who saw Ween’s last Vancouver show might remember that the singer hit the stage completely out of it, and then proceeded to put on a shit-show that left almost everyone in the sold-out, 2,700 capacity Queen Elizabeth Theatre speechless. The concert ended with Freeman standing alone at centre stage alone fumbling around on an out-of-tune guitar, his bandmates, including Ween cofounder Mickey Melchiondo (Deen Ween) having already walked off in disgust. Freeman spent large portions of the show forgetting words, missing cues, and, at times, lying on his back like a drunk turtle unable to right itself.
To the shock of no one, the singer has revealed since then that he’s had a lifelong drug and alcohol problem that spiralled out of control in Vancouver. He’s now clean and sober, following a stint in an Arizona rehab facility, which he checked into at the end of the last Ween tour. Freeman is currently on the road supporting his debut solo album, Marvelous Clouds.
Dating back a quarter century, Ween first rose to prominence in the early ’90s alt-rock boom, the band developing a reputation for genre-jumping with an agility few acts have ever matched. Records like Chocolate and Cheese and The Mollusk would swing seamlessly from blue-eyed-soul to acid-dappled new age to hardcore techno-punk.
That musicianship, along with a warped Beavis and Butt-head-friendly sense of humour, would make Ween a huge cult band. Despite receiving zero commercial airplay, the group had no problem selling out soft-seaters like the Queen E. and the Orpheum on its tours.
Those days are, however, evidently over.
Noting that he’s thought about quitting Ween for eight years, Freeman told RollingStone.com, “It’s important to know that this [the solo career] isn’t a side project. 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.”
Here's one from the vaults as you get ready to start the official mourning period. All together now: "Are you suprised when I touch the dwarf inside?"
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