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Dean Ween interview


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Interesting guy. I culled this off the net and I believe it is from Relix. Ween are so good. Enjoy the interview!!!

Interviewed by Josh Baron

HE 'S GOT MORE ALIASES THAN FLETCH, rocks as hard as a teenage punk hopped up on speed and speaks his mind with the same frankness as a meat-eating Texan stuck in a vegetarian deli in California. Mickey Moist (a.k.a Dean Ween),leader of the MOISTBOYZ (and founding member of cult band Ween), has kept himself busy with the band 's latest release, Moistboyz III (not to mention recording Ween's next studio album and releasing the band's LIVE AT STUBBS),a thoroughly assaulting album to both ear and mind. The Moist One gave us a few minutes before settling in to watch the Jets play Monday night.

Considering that our government is made up of various ghouls and vampires, who is the leader of the current Dark Side? And is there a real day Buffy who can save us?

I'm still in amazement that George Bush is our president. [laughter] It's totally astounding to me. I can't get my head around it, at every level. The chief operating official of our country is him. I mean, in the chain of command, there's nobody better below? [laughter]

So is there a Buffy that can save us?

Yeah, well I've always entertained the idea, obviously they would never take the gig, of who would be my favorite person to run the country. It would be the three most down-to-earth motherfuckers I could think of and all happen to play music: Stevie Wonder, Willie Nelson or George Clinton.

Do you know anyone with a sixteen inch steel spike like that of the Moistboyz song?

No. That was like free association when we writing the record. I think we were just sitting there and I was like, "let's write a song about a guy who, instead of a dick, has a big steel spike." That pretty much is the entire depth of that song. We're like, "ok... about a guy who has a spike for a dick."

If you guys are the rock and roll phallus, who, in that equation, are the rock and roll testicles and who is the vagina?

U2 would definitely be the vagina. They are like the biggest fucking... that's just the worst band. If you buy into that crap, then....nothing offends me more than U2 I would say, in this day and age, right now. I don't mean U2's entire career. I just cannot stand to see somebody...

So if you hear "Beautiful Day," it makes you nauseous?

No, just him. It's just gross. I just hate some guy from fucking Ireland or wherever the fuck he is from, coming in here and sticking his nose in international policy. It just grosses me the fuck out. It's truly offensive to me, as an American.

Who would be the testicles?

Does that mean below the Moist Boyz obviously? That would indicate to me that the Moist Boyz are at the top of the food chain. Anybody who keeps it real, anyone who is rockin' and keeps it real. There's a lot of people out there, but there's not enough of them in 2002.

If you could tell John Ashcroft one thing, what would it be?

The attorney general? I'm a pretty apolitical guy, but I wish they would just back off the smokers a little bit. Cigarette smokers too, I know this is Relix and all.

So you think the smoking ban is going to happen? I'm from California, so...

Yeah, you guys are the first to fucking sell out the rest of the country pretty much. I just think it's bullshit. Whatever. It doesn't even need to be said. Cigarettes will be $20 a pack by the end of next year. It's killing me man, it's killing me. I can't stand it, I can't pay no $40 or $50 for a carton.

It's a double whammy: that's killing you and the cigarettes.

I know that though, nobody's fooling me. I know what I'm getting myself into. Pick your poison and die by it.

So I heard about this bender down in New Orelans involving you and juke box. Any comments?

No. I mean New Orleans, every time I'm there is a bender and I've spent a lot of time there, so I have no recollection of any specific incident that you could possibly be speaking of.

Boxers, briefs or none?

I'm a Fruit of the Loom briefs guy.

How many aliases do you have?

Me? A number, a number. Do you want me to state them or something?

Well, I don't know if you need to state them all since you'd be revealing them all. If you could give us a ballpark.

Yeah. More than ten.

Who is Jimmy Wilson?

Ah, Jimmy Wilson? Well, Jimmy Wilson is everyone I know intimately. If you become Jimmy Wilson, then you're down with Dean Ween. We all call each other Jimmy. I don't know where it came from, but since I was in high school, it was sort of like a pet name you have for someone that you're good friends with. It's like, "Yo, Jim" and any one of my friends will turn around and look at me, but they'll know who I'm speaking to. And then Jimmy Wilson grew out of that, so it's kind of another alias in a way. We just tacked the last name on to it over the years.

But the thing is though, if there's like six of us in a room and three people are missing, or it's time to go on stage and it's getting close to show time and there's five us in the band and three of us are there and I say, to one of the other two guys, "Where's Jimmy at?" they'll say, "oh, he went to get something to eat," and they'll know which of the other two guys I'm talking about. As opposed to like, "Yo, where's James at? Where's James Johnson?" There's a lot to it. But you don't just get there by being you. You have to be down.

And the thing is about that, is that I didn't even realize that it was something we hadn't created. I read the Miles Davis autobiography when it came out years ago and he talks about how they referred to each other as Jim. So I don't where it came from in our world, but obviously Jim has been around for a while.

When you were growing up did you aspire to one day receive a parental advisory sticker?

No, definitely not. In fact, it's really disgusting because we never factored in. Artwork is what always holds up a record. I'm a rock and roll purist. I'm still kind of heartbroken over CDs. When I was kid growing up, I was all about dropping acid and listening to Darkside of the Moon or metal and staring at the record cover, Ummagumma or something, while you're listening to it, the entire time with no interruptions. Pouring over the artwork, the notes and all the great covers you know, Houses of the Holy or the Yes records even or anything. We try and keep that quality control standard alive and it sucks really bad now because you are forced to work with a CD. I don't know what the dimensions are of a jewel case. I mean we go through all this trouble, and we only have what, the size of like four matchbooks or something to get the artwork on, and it sucks aesthetically. And you do it and you come up with this little like, "what's the best idea we can fit into this space the size of my fist," you know, that will be pleasing to the eye and compliment the listening experience. And you go through all that, you pay someone, get it all done, make sure it's just right and it takes up like quarter of the space [of the original]. It's like great, you know? That's where it rubs me the wrong way. I don't care about the political implications of it. Aesthetically, it blows. It's like, what the fuck?

But you guys still put out vinyl, right?

Yeah, we still put out vinyl, but like 500 people buy them in Belgium. Who cares? Nobody sees it anyway. Me too, I buy Cds. I have like 10,000 records here, but if a new record comes out I don't not buy the CD so I can find it for $30 on the internet in France to have it on vinyl so I can tape it on cassette and not listen to it on my stereo.

Five things that should never go on pizza.

I'm a purist like that too. Five things that should never gone on pizza? Fruit of any kind, chicken, seafood, um...

Any kinds of vegetables in particular? You like broccoli?

No, I don't. I like plain pizza or meat pizza. I'll take the onions and whatever. I don't digest peppers very well, so that's not my preference. I love anchovies.

That's seafood!

No, that's one of the saltiest things known to man. To call anchovies seafood is not fair. And anchovy is so rude anyway, it just weeds out... If there's two of you there, and you split a pie, and you get half with anchovies on it, you can be sure the other guy isn't going to eat one slice from your half after he finishes his.

So when does one develop a taste for anchovies?

I like all things rude on my food. I just love all that shit. I love liver, liverwurst. I just love all the most rotten things ever created by man to eat because I always found they're the best.

So when did you have your first anchovy pizza as a child?

I don't recall. I come from an Italian family, so my dad was always eating anchovies, sardines, salt crackers, beer, pepperoni, sopressata and imported provolone so stinky it tasted like someone's fucking bare foot. So my tastes were trained early to eat what was in the fridge, I was pretty young.

First album to give you an adrenaline rush.

Some of the first few records I got, actually. The first couple records I got were little kid records. I got a Steve Martin record, a Blues Brothers record. It wasn't the Blues Brothers soundtrack even, it was an album by the Blues Brothers. And then I got Bad Company, Desolation Angels, which had just come out and it had "Rock and Roll Fantasy" on it. I bought it for "Rock and Roll Fantasy." If you know the song, it's about a rock and roll fantasy. It's like, "here come the jesters" and all this shit. So I would have these wild, crazy visions of this song. And I would really, really think of like, 2000 Hell's Angels on Harley Davidsons coming. I mean, that's what's so great about rock and roll still, especially when you're impressionable and young, it takes you, that thing. It's like the whole fantasy element of good rock, gets all the imagery going in your head. So that's like one of the first real rock records I got and then a billion records since that, but that was the first.

Have you found the girl from that Ween Stubbs 2000 show? And will she be in the video from the latest live disc release?

No, we didn't find her. We'll never find her and we had to just sort of work around her for the video. I don't want to talk about it, I'm bitter about the whole thing. I mean we were pretty psyched about it, a naked girl, but I guess you really can't just do that and it was Texas.

Since you did your time at Bonnaroo would you revise "Hippie Smell"?

No. Bonnaroo was like the last, real, proper Ween gig that we did. We've done about six or seven since. Our drummer is hurt right now. I haven't really seen the ramifications or repercussions of what Bonnaroo means to Ween. It was a great time and I'm not going to knock on it at any time. They just treated us so well. The people that put it on treated us great. The people that were there, it was a great reception. It was one of the highlights for the last couple years for us. It was one of the biggest crowds we ever played to. But naw, I mean, whatever, I know what the deal is anyway. I grew up around Deadheads and the whole thing. It's like, there's no surprises about Bonnaroo. I didn't see some darkside or something. It was a positive experience, I gotta say, on the whole. I mean I would love to sit here and diss on it, but it was really great. I was glad to be a part of it.

What flavor of Ben and Jerry's most represents Moist Boyz or if you had to invent one, what would it be?

Dirt and nails or something.

What was the last pointless purchase you made?

Oh man, I'm like the king of that shit. I bought a six-tape set that arrived today actually: videotapes of Watergate testimony in front of the Senate Committee.

You call yourself apolitical...

Nah, nah. I like history. It's not about politics. I like history a lot and I'm on a real big Watergate thing right now, reading on it and I wanted to watch the testimony so I went on Ebay and bought videotapes of the raw testimony. You'd have to read the 11,000 pages of the transcript of the testimony. I just wanted to see the faces. My wife is about to fucking throw me out.

Are you an "innie" or an "outie"?

Hold on, lemme look. I'm an innie.

Sickest band of all time.

Parliament/Funkadelic, hands down greatest. I hold The Beatles up there really high, but Parliament/Funkadelic to me is still... they're still doing it.

Does Phish do "Roses are Free Justice?"

I dunno, but they do it and it's certainly helped us out so I'm certainly not going to say anything bad about it.

Were you guys caught off guard at all?

We have some ties to those guys. Trey grew up around here, in Lawerenceville [NJ]. He and I have some things in common, like ice hockey. We both played growing up and played for and against a lot of the same teams. We were both on Elektra. I first met Page years ago, maybe in '92 or '93 at Elektra Records in the office and he told me they were really, really big fans and this and that. Then I got a letter from Fishman not too long after that. Those guys really hadn't blown up like the atomic bomb at that point. So I've encountered them kind of off-handed. I didn't really know them. I wouldn't say we were friends at that point. I knew they were fans, I knew there was a connection, so I wasn't caught off guard at all.

What music has caught your attention in the last few months?

I've been deeply into Yes. I went to see Yes just this last month and I went expecting it to be maybe good on some certain level, like nostalgic or for a laugh or something, and it was just fucking great. It was awesome on any level you want to measure it, for any criteria. It was killer. So I've dove really, really heavily into Yes because I only had Fragile and the Yes album. So I rounded out my Yes collection. I got that System of the Down record, Toxicity which I thought I would hate cause I don't really like any new music that's out right now or just don't have the energy to go find it. And a lot people's opinions I respect were telling me to go check out that record. I heard some it, and I was like, "mmmmm." So I've been listening to that, but I don't know how long that's going to last though. That's probably the only new record I've bought the whole fucking year is why I bring it up. I like that though.

What would you say to someone who walked away from a Moist Boyz show dry?

They weren't standing close enough [laughter].

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