Q&A: Ween

The goofy duo serves up 'Chocolate and Cheese' on their latest effort

Ween in Concert at Wetlands in New York City on October 12th 1991 Credit: Steve Eichner/WireImage/Getty

If the dumbing of America is suddenly the gas, thank God there is another Ween album to add to the fire. If you are familiar with Dean and Gene Ween (a k a Mickey Melchiondo and Aaron Freeman, two nonrelated punks who hooked up in the seventh grade), then Chocolate and Cheese,their fourth offering to the smoldering pyre of rock & roll, should elate you to the point of lacing up your boogie shoes. If you are unfamiliar with rock's consummate idiot savants from Pennsylvania way, then (1) you'll need to watch more TV, and (2) you're taking life way too seriously. With that said, we are very proud to introduce you to the whacked world of the Ween brothers.

Beavis and Butt-head really think you guys are retarded.

Dean: Man, I'm honored to be a part of that whole thing.

Gene: Absolutely! Those shows will go down in history. Every time there's a Beavis and Butt-head "Push th' Little Daisies" episode, we sell 5,000 albums.

Did you watch other cartoons growing up?

Dean: Warner Bros., man! Daffy Duck, Foghorn Leghorn. Bugs, especially. That had so much to do with shaping my personality.

You dedicated Chocolate and Cheese to John Candy. Why? 

Gene: We always dedicate our records to one person. When we were getting this together, there was so much going on about Kurt Cobain, and nobody mentioned John Candy at all. I have a special little spot in my heart for him.

When's the last time either of you cried?

Dean: I cried a week ago in a hotel room because I was watching this documentary on the last days of Marvin Gaye. I just broke down. It sounds fucked up, but I cry quite a bit, actually.

No, it doesn't. Have you guys ever been to a shrink?

Gene: My dad's a shrink, so, yeah, I've been to a shrink before.

No way!

Gene: Yeah, when I was young, he was going to school to become a child psychologist, so, needless to say, I spent the first six years of my life taking tests.

Dean: The only time I went was when I got busted for drugs, and I had to go see a counselor.

Take these lines from "Mister, Would You Please Help My Pony?": "He's down – he ain't gettin' up. He coughed up snot in the driveway, and I think his lung's fucked up." Now explain Ween's creative process. 

Gene: We wrote at least 30 songs for this album, and, of course, this one stood true. I don't want to say that we were on drugs or anything . . . .  

Why not?

Gene: The pope reads Rolling Stone!

You were on mushrooms, weren't you?

Gene: Yeah, yeah. And we both just lost our shit and locked on to it and finished the song.

Did you smoke pot this morning?

Dean: No, man!

Are you telling the truth?

Dean: Yeah, I don't wake and bake like I used to.

How does Chocolate and Cheese differ from your previous albums?

Gene: The only way is that it sounds better. We recorded it on a 24-track.

How does it differ from Elvis Costello's '86 album Blood and Chocolate?

Gene: Wow! I saw that in the record store. Hmm, actually he wrote half the songs for Chocolate and Cheese. I'm making it known now.

If you had to be locked in your tour bus with either Richard Simmons or Weiland, which one would it be?

Gene: Richard Simmons, definitely. He's totally out of control and would be more fun to hang out with.

Dean: I would take Dick Simmons. He knows how to party; you can tell.

What was more monumental in your life: the first time you did it or when you got your driver's license?

Dean: Ah, probably the first time I fucked. My dad's a used-car dealer, so by the time I took my test, I'd been driving forever, so that was no big transition.

You guys sure cuss a lot.

Gene: Yeah. We call it cursing here. We grew up with it. Our moms, you know? That parental-advisory sticker's been on the last couple of albums. I'm not sure if it should've been on this one. I heard the Stones didn't get one, and they're talking about fucking a girl up the ass.

Do you know the nines multiplication table?

Dean: Dude! I can add, multiply and subtract like a motherfucker! I'm a human calculator when it comes to that shit.

What's nine times 62?

Dean: Uh, hmm, nine times 62? Let's see: 558, right?

Right! You're a human calculator.

Dean: Yeah, man.

If you guys were being inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, who would you like to do the honors? 

Gene: I would say Prince, but I don't know if he could pull it off. I think maybe Michael Jackson.

Dean: I'd like to be inducted by Jimmy Page or Jerry Lee Lewis. I would want him to say, like, two words, then vomit from drinking too much. That would be more of a statement about rock & roll than anything.

No one drinks in rock anymore.

Dean: Anyone worth a shit does. I tell you. Ween carry the flag for all of rock, then. We drink lots of beer. We ask for bottles of Bud every night on our rider.

Wow! You're hard core. Did you buy any Girl Scout cookies this year?

Dean: My girlfriend did. I think they're shortbread or something.

Gene: We got the Chalet Cremes, vanilla. That's my Girl Scout cookie of choice.