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Interview with Ween   |   2000

MEAN: There are obvious similarities between Ween and South Park…

Matt: (mocking) Two bands of gay friends. Yes, um, the obvious similarities: “You're all gay.”

When did you guys meet?

Matt: When we did the Orgazmo record, and they did a little number for Trey's masterwork, and we sent them a scene where Orgazmo goes out and tests the Orgazmo ray. We gave them very little direction, and we said make it sound super gay, and they came back with this thing that was just the most perfect fucking thing and the best part of the movie. That's when we met.

You guys are in a band called DVDA. Will you ever collaborate with Ween?

Trey: We really suck.

Matt: Yeah, we shouldn't really talk about that.

You have to let the people know about “Fuck That Guy From Bush” and “I Am Chewbacca.”

Trey: Shut up!

Matt: Trey and I are trying to get the rights to this movie called Megaforce , which is this shitty movie from the 80's, and we were going to talk to Ween about doing the soundtrack.

Gene: Are you going to remake it?

Matt: No, we want to do Megaforce II, like 20 years later. Have you guys ever seen that movie?

Gene: No, what's it about?

Matt: It's the super lamest movie ever made.

Trey: It's about motorcycles that can fly.

Matt: The big line in the ending is, “Good guys always win… even in the '80s.”

Trey and Matt, what was your first Ween album?

Trey: My first one was Chocolate and Cheese, the one with the chocolate titties on the cover.

Whose idea was that?

Gene: It was actually a bastardization. We were trying to get a gay sailor to wear that championship belt. This is a true story. I think we even got to the part of casting the guy, and then Elektra got cold feet. We had already had the belt made by this guy who makes heavyweight prize title fight belts. So, we just ended up getting the next best thing, which was a large-breasted model.

Dean: It was actually us. We weren't man enough to do it.

Matt: Yeah, only someone truly gay would do that.

Gene: Totally. What do you think about the Smurfs?

Matt: Fuck the Smurfs.

Trey: It's not cool to talk about the Smurfs anymore. I think there's an indie movie that analyzes the Smurfs that you should check out.

What's up with “Ice Castles”, the instrumental on the new album?

Gene: It's was called “The Baroque Jam,”' but it looked so stupid written down. None of us would listen to a song called “The Baroque Jam.” It was named that all the way to the mastering sessions, then it was called “The Anal Plump Fairies,” then we changed it again to “Ice Castles,”' which was a movie. It's a pretty bad title.

Trey: I heard a couple of these songs when you last played out here.

Dean: We started playing a lot of the new album on our last tour, so basically we have nothing to look forward to on the tour.

Matt: Do you guys have to get in shape before you go touring?

Trey: Matt just saw Perry Farrell on a bike at an athletic center because he's going to go on tour.

Matt: It was 8: 15 in the morning at Bodies In Motion, or one of those types of places and there's Perry with his little headphones on riding a stationary bike.

Gene: We're exactly the opposite.

Trey: Perry's old now. You guys aren't that old though. You're the same age as us, aren't you?

Gene: I'm 29.

Dean: I'm about to turn 30.

Matt: Perry's like almost 40, so he has to like, you know…

Gene: My pre-tour routine is finding all the Valium and Xanax that I can find. Percodan.

Matt: Gene's turning 3O?

Dean: No, I am.

Trey: Are you bummed about it?

Dean: No, I'm not. It's fine. I'm going to Jamaica, so I'm going to be wasted.

Trey: I was in Hawaii for mine, and everyone's like, “You know, it'll suck, but then you'll be psyched to be 30,” and it's been like three months, and I'm really not psyched to be 30. Maybe you have to wait until you're 40, and then you're like, “You know, I was psyched when I was 30.”

Gene: I'm curious about DVDA. Is there going to be a proper release?

Trey: We had a sweet gig actually at Sundance, and we played for like 2,000 people. We played a song called, “Robert Redford Fucks Babies,” cause you know that's his thing.

Dean: How did that go over?

Trey: It went over really well. We played with Les Claypool's Holy Mackerel, and it was really fun. We would love to just be a band and not do this fucking cartoon shit anymore, but we're just sort of locked in and we can't get out of it.

Matt: When we get some stuff on tape I'll send it to you guys. Some of the stuff will definitely remind you of you guys, but not as good. Like you guys when you were like 14. You guys when you were in 8th grade.

Trey: Was this the longest you guys took on an album?

Gene: This record's been done for a while, but we actually intentionally pushed it back because we didn't have our shit together.

What were you guys doing in your hiatus?

Gene: Having babies.

Dean: Yeah, I have a kid. A little 14-month-old.

Matt: What do you think about Steely Dan coming out with a new record. How much does that piss you off?

Gene: No, I bought it, actually. It's not very good. I'm pretty down with Steely Dan though. When I was a kid, they were the measuring stick for everything that sucked. I hated them more than anything, and now I think I'm getting old.

Dean: Same with me, it's scary.

Matt: Yeah, I'm where you were when you were little. What do you guys think about Night Ranger?

Trey: I don't really think a lot about Night Ranger.

Gene: They're right up there with the Smurfs.

I'm going to step back into the corner now.

Matt: (laughing) Yeah, it's like early '80s guy keeps stepping in and asking fucked-up questions. “What do you think about Jan Hammer?”

Trey: The question Matt and I always get is, “Are you guys starting to hate each other now?” Do they ask you if you fight, and shit like that?

Dean: No, people are afraid to ask us that question.

Gene: That's cause they want you to fight and hate each other.

Matt: Trey and I have never really gotten in a fight.

Trey: You guys have known each other since junior high, right?

Gene: Yeah, 8th grade.

Matt: So, do you guys ever get into fights?

Dean: No, we're in psychotherapy.

Trey: It's bullshit. Everyone asks us if we hate each other, and if we say no, then they think we're gay. Then they're sure we're gay because we've been friends since we were 18 or 19.

Have any of you ever seriously sought group counseling?

Dean: No, Gene and I are just gay. There's a lot of cocksucking.

Gene: The whole key to long relationships is communication. Well, we're exactly the opposite-we don't talk about any of the problem areas and nothing gets done. That's kind of how we do it.

Matt: That sounds familiar actually.

Gene: It just builds and builds.

Matt: If you don't start the communication it doesn't need to go there. It just builds and builds and it shapes you both into bitter, horrible people. I think once Trey and I fuck, we'll be much better friends. We just gotta all start fucking. That's what we should tell those guys who ask if we fight.

Trey: “Yeah, we fucked. You know, it was empty but since we've done it, we've become a lot better and closer friends. “

Gene: “Well, one night I was drunk, and…”

Has there ever been an uncomfortable moment, where you gaze into each other's gay eyes?

Matt: I don't view that as uncomfortable.

Trey: There's long hours in television, so obviously those times are going to come up…when you want to fuck your partner.

Gene: Every time a photographer gets Dean and I to take our picture, they always go for this homoerotic shit, and we're so used to it. We had to do it the other day, and it was like, “Now put your heads back here on the couch and blend your hair together, and press your faces up real close together. Look deep into each other's eyes.”

Matt: One of the first publicity photos I saw of you guys was in People magazine, and you guys were dressed in white turtlenecks with a dog on a lawn. That picture blew me away. I remember Trey and I thinking, we got to take a picture like that.

Gene: Both our moms coincidentally got us very homosexual, white cable knit sweaters for Christmas. Gene came over and saw mine, and he said, “Oh, I got one too,” so we just waited for that next photo shoot.

Matt: It crosses that line between what you guys started as parody, and then it kind of went into homage, and then it was kind of really you guys being little fags. We did a publicity photo in Colorado at a place called Olen Mills, which was the shitty place you went to get your picture taken when you were little.

Gene: Like a Sears type thing?

Matt: Yeah, and we did a photo that we did like that, which was directly inspired by that picture.

Have you ever walked in on each other masturbating?

Trey: Once I was masturbating to the Smurfs.

Dean: I was watching Miami Vice.

Matt: Jan Hammer. So…what's your album cover going ta be?

Gene: I don't want to say. We spent like two years writing and recording our record, and then we did our cover art in about like two seconds in the office of Elektra two days ago.

Dean: Yeah, I don't want to talk about it.

Trey: Did you guys have like 30 songs, and then you cut it down to like twelve for the album?

Gene: We had like 50 songs, but they all kind of sucked. We picked the twelve that didn't suck. There's like a Southern California thing going on. We listened to the album, and it kind of sounded like the fucking Eagles. A lot of it got cut, but there's still some of it on the record.

Dean: But there's a lot more of it.

Gene: But nothing compared to what we did.

Trey: I think “Bananas and Blow” is a fucking sweet song. We were joking one day about doing a South Park Island Tropical album, and iust doing those cheesy Beach Boys albums, and that song is such a perfect example.

Gene: The whole idea for “Bananas and Blow” was that it was going to be a five-song EP. We were gonna just basically do the whole Buffet vibe. We got the worst parts of it in that song at least-just horrible Jimmy Buffet. It's the easiest song to make a video for-it would cost like $2,500 to do it right.

Trey: Sammy Hagar's becoming the new Jimmy Buffet with his whole Mexico/tequila thing. It's totally the same thing.

Gene: Cabo Wabo (Sammy Hagar's nightclub in Cabo San Lucas).

Trey: We went like a year ago and there's a big sign that says “Cabo Wabo,”' with a picture of him out front, and it's got a big “I Can't Drive 55” logo on it. It was the single gayest thing ever.

Matt: Does he have a brand of tequila?

Dean: Yeah, Cabo Wabo.

Matt: Oh, it's called Cabo Wabo too?

Gene: Yeah, it's supposedly one of the best tequilas out now.

Matt: Oh Jesus. Well, that would be the fucking great album if it was like a half-Tropical, half-Cabo Wabo vibe.

Have you heard his song, “Mas Tequila”?

Matt: Yeah, I saw it on TV one day. It was great — just such fucking pure gayness. The purity… the purity and the conviction.

Gene: That song is like the worst of a number of things. It's like a bad Buffet song that's sung by Bob Weir. (singing) “Message fram the fat man…”

Matt: It's just amazing that someone could sing that song and think that anybody else would like to hear that ever. It's so fucking bad.

Gene: There's a song like that on The Mollusk album too, called “She Wanted To Leave”. After we did it, and listened to it, we were like it's too realized because it actually sucks.

Trey: It doesn't make fun of something that sucks, it just sucks on its own.

Matt: You totally forged new territory in suckland.

Gene: We actually brought in back-up singers for “Bananas and Blow”, and I was trying to get them to sing the line, “eat the bananas and the cocaine off the mirror” and they wouldn't do it.

Dean: They were like all, “No, no, no, we're not singing that.”

Gene: The girls who sang on that song are in like Mariah Carey's band, and, like, Eric Clapton and Sting, and all of that shit. So, they came in and had no idea what they were doing, they just showed up for the session, and it was Ween, “Bananas and Blow”.

Dean: They got like $4,000 an hour.

Trey: A while ago there was some talk of you guys scoring a musical or a film or something. I think it's a great idea since you guys are great at melodies.

Dean: There was some rumor about us doing the score for Planet of the Apes, but that's not true.

Matt: There's a new one coming out?

Dean: Yeah, but we're not doing it. We did some music for Nickelodeon, and we actually get some interesting offers, but it seems like one out of every five of them gets used. It's really frustrating when you do something like that because you're never guaranteed that they're going to use it. Some one asks you to do something, and you realize they're in no position of power, so you send in your shit, and they've already lined up some guy.

Gene: UPS licensed one of our tunes from the country record for an international ad.

Trey: Dean told me you get a lot of people licensing stuff off that.

Gene: In England they hate every single thing we've ever done, but they love the country record-I think they're afraid to make fun of it.

Trey: Do you want to talk about what happened on “Japanese Cowboy”?

Gene: We had to give the publishing rights of that song to Vangelis. We realized one day the whole melody sounds like “Chariots of Fire.” So, we went on tour, and we tagged “Chariots of Fire” on the end of it. We had to clear that part of it, and send it to him, and he went, like, “Wait a second, this is a fucking rip-off.” He owns the publishing for the actual studio recording of it too.

Matt: So now he owns the first version. That's actually almost worth it!

Gene: It's actually worth it for me that he gets his royalty statement every month and it says “Japanese Cowboy” on it. He's sitting in Papoupapalis, Greece somewhere with little boy servants…

Matt: He's spreading olive oil all over his fucking hot body, checking out Ween statements. That sucks. Fuck that guy. My dad loves that movie Blade Runner, and most of the time when I go home, he's in his office listening to the score from Blade Runner, which Vangelis did. Yeah, he sits around, studies economics and listens to the score from Blade Runner. !t really makes me angry. My dad's a fag. I hope they don't read this magazine. That's right up there with the Smurfs.

Were you guys shocked that you got nominated for an Oscar for Best Song for “Blame Canada”?

Trey: We got the LA Film Critics Award, the New York Film Critics award, and everyone keeps giving us awards for the music, so no we weren't really shocked. That's telling you something. You've got to make DVDA a real thing.

Matt: Yeah, but see, when you're doing comedy you can be gay and it doesn't really matter, but when' you're trying to be serious… Well, I guess that's kind of what Ween does, right?

Trey: Yeah, but Ween's good at it.

Matt: We're missing one key ingredient.

Trey: Yeah, cause you can watch Ween and be like, “Oh, this is totally gay,”' and then be like, “Oh fuck, this rocks though,”' and with us it's just gay. It's gay and it makes your drink warm and you just get pissed off. There's no redeeming value.

[ source: MEAN ]


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