Communing With Ween

Touring rockers debunk rumors, plan album.

NEW YORK -- This just in from Rumor Central: Ween, the tongue-in-cheek slacker-rock "brothers," do not live on a commune in New Jersey.

"[That rumor] is probably from the picture from our third album," explained singer-guitarist Mickey Melchiondo, who, it is rumored, goes by the name Dean Ween. "I think that's what did it."

With little prompting he added, "There is the fold-out on the record of us with all of our friends on the porch of a farm house. We did it kinda because of the picture on the Allman Brothers' Brothers & Sisters album, which is probably some sort of commune that they lived on."

And who does he think started this and any other rumors that swirl about the Ween world? Dean knows: "We usually start all these lies," he said with a laugh.

The commune lie put to bed, Dean and his musical sibling Gene Ween (singer-guitarist Aaron Freeman) have settled in backstage at Tramps in New York to talk Ween news and Ween gossip before joining their rhythm section onstage.

The Tramps show was the latest in their ongoing, 15-country Mollusk tour that began in May 1997. Word has it that the tour has gone well, selling out most of its dates in Europe. Can the Weens confirm that?

"We can't remember all the really good nights," Dean said, although he does recall "a lot of drinking and smoking. Smoking our memory away."

Gene, however, does seem to remember that "Buenas Tardes Amigo" went down like a hammer. "I don't know why, but you get into a club with 800 Germans who've never seen a Mexican singing 'Buenas Tardes' with you, and they just go apeshit."

When the tour ends, the Weens said they'll be going back into the studio to start work on their next record. Given the quasi-theme aspects of their previous albums, 12 Golden Country Greats (a collection of Ween-y country & western covers) and Mollusk (with its various nautical references), is there a theme lurking for the next one?

"It's too early to say," Dean said. In fact, he's not even sure that they've done any concept albums yet. "Even the theme part of Mollusk was an accident," he noted, adding that he doesn't think that the Weens may ever record a theme album.

"It's not like we're going to make a dance record or something like that," he said.

They probably won't be making any more appearances on soundtrack records for a while, either. After contributing songs to the soundtracks of "Dream With The Fishes" and director Oliver Stone's "U-Turn," the Weens seem to be weaning themselves away from the silver screen.

Except, that is, for the song they recorded for the feature film "Orgazmo," the upcoming live-action satire of the porn industry from the creators of the popular Comedy Central cartoon "South Park."

"It fits with the (movie)," Gene said. "It's like a bad Herman's Hermits song."

That could be the start of another nasty rumor.