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Aaron Freeman on Retiring Ween: 'My Decision Was Not Made in Haste'

'It's evolved over a decade's worth of internal and external struggle,' says frontman

June 20, 2012 5:00 PM ET
Aaron Freeman
Aaron Freeman performs in Gulf Shores, Alabama.
Erika Goldring/Getty Images

Late last month, Aaron Freeman, also known as Ween frontman Gene Ween, told Rolling Stone that he was leaving behind his alias, marking the end of the band's 25-year run. In a new statement, Freeman speaks directly to Ween's fans and explains that although the decision seemed quick, there was much more to it.

"I want to thank each and every one of you for all of your kind words and support. It means a lot. My decision to leave Ween, however interpreted, was absolutely not made in haste. It's evolved over a decade's worth of internal and external struggle," says Freeman.

"Know that I am extremely proud of all that is Ween. And while [guitarist] Mickey [Melchiondo] and I are going our separate ways, I wish him only the best. I will always have nothing but love and respect for what we created together," he adds. "I need to now move on for myself and for my family. I still, as always, look forward to a future filled with music as Aaron Freeman."

Speaking with Rolling Stone in May, Freeman said he felt that his time with Ween had come to a proper end. "For me it's a closed book," he explained. "In life sometimes, in the universe, you have to close some doors to have others open," he said. "There's no, 'Goddamn that such and such!' For me, I'd like to think it's a door I can close finally."

Freeman released his solo debut, Marvelous Clouds, in May on Partisan Records. Download the track "Love's Been Good To Me" exclusively here.

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

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Song Stories

“Try a Little Tenderness”

Otis Redding | 1966

This pop standard had been previously recorded by dozens of artists, including by Bing Crosby 33 years before Otis Redding, who usually wrote his own songs, cut it. It was actually Sam Cooke’s 1964 take, which Redding’s manager played for Otis, that inspired the initially reluctant singer to take on the song. Isaac Hayes, then working as Stax Records’ in-house producer, handled the arrangement, and Booker T. and the MG’s were the backing band. Redding’s soulful version begins quite slowly and tenderly itself before mounting into a rousing, almost religious “You’ve gotta hold her, squeeze her …” climax. “I did that damn song you told me to do,” Redding told his manager. “It’s a brand new song now.”

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