Dean Ween: The term "side project" makes me want to vomit

Categories: Q&A
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Photo by Beta Klein

Ween broke up nearly two years ago, but Dean Ween -- AKA Mickey Melchiondo -- has been keeping himself plenty busy. He goes by Mickey Moist when he's playing with his other band (don't call them a side project) Moistboyz. They released their fifth album, V, late in 2013 and followed that up with several tours with a backing band featuring Queens of the Stone Age vet Nick Oliveri. He also has a new band called The Dean Ween Group, and recently played with a Ween cover band in Chicago. In addition to his musical endeavors, he is still running a fishing guide service.

The Moistboyz recently embarked on a short tour with old pals the Meat Puppets, which includes the Moistboyz's first-ever stop in the Twin Cities at the Cabooze on Saturday. Gimme Noise connected with Melchiondo ahead of the show to talk about the Moistboyz tour and what the future holds for both of his bands.


Gimme Noise: It seems like the Moistboyz are playing more shows and hitting cities you've never been to, how have the shows been going?
Dean Ween: The shows have been incredible, we have an awesome backing band with Nick, Haas, and Hoss. We haven't had time in the past to do as much touring as we should have but now we're getting to reap the benefits of that. Moistboyz live is something that doesn't happen a whole hell of a lot, or not as much as it should. Our live shows are where we really shine in my opinion. Most of the shows are sold out and we leave people confused, thoroughly satiated, and dumbfounded by the rock they just witnessed.


Are you enjoying playing more intimate venues where the crowd is right in your face?
Honestly, the size of the crowd never has mattered to me. I prepare the same way and get more nervous the smaller the venue.

Which songs are you playing?

We do a very balanced set as far as our material goes. We play about 20 songs and they're mixed from all of the albums. At this point after five records we have a nice big catalog of great songs to choose from and have our own fans instead of just Ween fans coming out to hear a "side project". Actually that term makes me want to vomit. How many bands are even around for 20 plus years and make five records anyway?

Had you been wanting to do a tour with the Meat Puppets or was this just a case of the right time at the right place?
I've done some touring withe Meat Pups in Ween and they are good friends. It's a perfect fit, I love those guys personally and obviously I'm a mega-fan of their music too, so it's great all around. One of the only bands I've ever played with where I watch their set every night. The other was Crazy Horse if that gives you an idea of where I rank the Pups.



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