Q+A pt. 1

Deaner,

The first night of Lock’n was my favorite set of Ween I’ve ever seen live. So brown. What’s your take on that set and the festival as a whole?

so ween is playing philadelphia. this is heavier in it’s own way than nyc or denver because it’s a hometown show. i thought nyc was a hometown show but it’s nothing compared to this. all our friends and relatives obviously didn’t shell out to fly to colorado and buy vip packages, and even if they had i wouldn’t have wanted them around backstage. this was really game day. they all heard that the colorado shows went great and watched the streams on periscope. so i didn’t think about philly too much until the show got close. then it hit me. holy fuck in shithead fuck. 8000 phone calls and requests for the guestlist, backstage treatment, all those creature comforts from back in the day. i did a pretty good job of just saying “no” across the board except for my immediate family members. the day of the gig it rained like a motherfucker. i was so happy. i knew it would clear out all the riff raff. So of course the gig went well—had everybody showed up it woulda sucked, I know that. Boston got added sorta late in the planning and I coulda taken it or just left it. Turned out to be the best gig we did yet. Maybe ever. We just smoked it.

Now then, Lockn—Ween at a festival is something that leaves everyone half-hard—no one more than us. Ween for 75 mins, 90 mins, meh… When the sun is out? Forget it. I should be asleep still, and I usually am. Now all I knew about the Lockn Festival is that we were opening for Phish. I swear to god I had no idea it was 2 nights either. I was surprised to learn that one night we were headlining and the SECOND NIGHT we’d be opening for Phish. i’d be lying if i said that opening for Phish wasn’t a big deal. all i’ll say is that we really wanted to play our asses off in front of those guys, who we’re friendly with going back a long ways. call it friendly competition, but it exists with every band. read: i wanted to blow their fuckin’ asses off the stage and rupture their fans’ ear drums and harsh their “vibe”. so there it is. u happy now? i hate their fans, they hate Ween, and I wanted to kill them with our music and un-fuck their minds from their normal listening habits. that would be like trying to convince a gay man that he was really straight though. ok, i think i just crossed the line. don’t like phish fans, so next off……..

 i mean I didn’t even know this shit til right when it was happening, the whole “headlining one night” and “opening for phish” the next. i thought it was one gig opening for Phish and that was it. not that it really matters because we prepare the same for every show. Any ideas that we made it “more brown” on one night than another is imagined. So we get there. The festival is different somehow than most—the stage rotates, the bands go right back to back on a spinning stage. in theory we coulda played medleys with the openers, and Phish, had they not needed 19 hours to set up. the first night we just played and played. it went really well. it was a new high for us at a festival. i felt like for the first time since the reunion we achieved at a festival what we do in clubs. it was fuckin’ rad. i left a lot of other of our fave tunes for the next night so we didn’t shoot our entire load on night one. The 2nd night rolls around quickly, we go out and deliver a measured ass whooping, but this crowd is somehow indifferent. they’ve taken a lot of shit from ween fans for many years, we are officially on the scale. we do in fact whoop their ass, but nothing compared to the first night when it was OUR crowd. basically they reacted to us like you would to any opening act when you’re waiting to see the headliner, who u follow around, altho i know we made many converts this night. and that’s how simple Lockn 2016 was for Ween. killed it both nights, but we were the opening band on the 2nd night. i could micro-analyze it but we came offstage feeling like we killed it and that’s how i measure a gig, on how we feel when it’s done. a 40 minute poopship destroyer wouldn’t have done anything but looked cool on paper. phish went on about 80 minutes after us—we didn’t watch them. i thought their long setup was a buzzkill from the vibe of the one-two punches of the other bands on the two days before they showed up, they brought EVERYTHING, production, lights, video, sound—it was excessive i thought.  we were too busy relaxing after 4 nights of gigs and being finally done. my favorite part was peter wolf from j. geils opening, we met before and he loves ween. he was the only dude at the festival i could relate to at all. like, the only motherfucker except the guys in my band that really understands rock and roll and is still doing it. a survivor, like me, and aaron, and claude, dave, and glenn.

The Facebook Band Releases it’s 2nd track

Well, this jam was a lot harder than the first one, we put a lot of time and love into this and I got swamped with a million contributions. Thank you to everyone who submitted tracks, there were so many good ideas from so many people–this time we upped the ante with a more difficult arrangement and were rewarded when everyone rose to the challenge. The song (which started out as nothing but a drumbeat) evolved into this funky throwback to the sound of the early 70′s Meters or War. The title ended up being “Someone Greased The Fat Man” and here is the personnel on the final track:

Dean Ween-Guitar, Vocals, Bass
Mike Huetz-Guitar, Bass, Editing, Keys
Rich Scannella-Drums
Erica Ward-Vocals
Christopher Michael-Guitar
John Moore-Guitar
Ralph Liberto-Horns

Here is the song–play it loud—after this experience I’m gonna take a breather and think about our next direction, which constantly evolves with every submission. If you have submitted tracks and they didn’t get used, please don’t give up on this project. there are only so many tracks you can put on one tune (we can’t use 11 guitar tracks–that’s about 7 too many) and finding the balance of tracks to get the most cohesive song is ever bit as important as the song itself. If that makes any sense. Play it loud and enjoy. Thanks to Mike Huetz for working overtime on the mix.

www.chocodog.com/chocodog/fatman.mp3 

NEW TUNE—UPDATED 10/22/14

FACEBOOK BAND ALERT! We have made tremendous headway on our latest jam, the submissions have been incredible for the most part and we’ve developed a concept and theme. Now we need a title and for someone to do killer funky vocals. To guide you along I did a little bit of scat singing to show you what direction I think it should take. I’m thinking old Meter’s “Fire On the Bayou” or War’s “Cisco Kid” as a reference point. When you here my “scat” (huhuhuh) track it will become obvious. For title’s think of something funky that flows well with my groove idea, like “Someone Stuck the Greaseman”….etc….have at it! Thanks to the killer musicians that contributed so far! Here is my reference version with me scat singing

Song #2 Saturday 10/18/2014–the Bonham Jam

http://www.chocodog.com/chocodog/BONHAM.mp3

Here is the basic bass and drum track we’re working with. the drums were played originally by Rich Scanella and sampled, sliced and diced and looped by me originally and completely overhauled by Mike Huetz. See the instructions above, email submissions to vealmarsala@gmail.com

This tune is 81 BPM and is in the key of A. Have at it. This is the second song in our Sat. night music club, or the “GET SOME” series. Add your tracks, and mail them back, follow the instructions I linked to below. A good place to start if you’re thinking about vocals would be the descending chorus part, that sounds like “I wanna take you higher”, don’t be afraid to give it a title and a chorus, but either way, have fun with it! - Mickey

So how do I do contribute, and what shall I use?

  •  The MOST IMPORTANT key is to take the track and never clip any time off of it, if it was 3:35 seconds when you downloaded it, that’s what it ashould be when you mail it back with your new tracks on there. As far as software damn near anything will work, we are only dealing with mp3 s and wav files, no native formats. You can use pro-tools (what i use) or the easiest and must have program “audacity”, which is free, as long as no one trims the time down you can just drop it in and line it up. simple as it gets.
  • Now you have your track recorded and want to send it back—before you mail it to me it, put all the pre-existing music to one side, the left channel, and put your track to the other side, in the right channel, and voila—-we’re done and you’re in, provided that you have a shred of talent. For stereo tracks, just line it up with the existing tracks I made and DON’T TRIM ANY TIME OFF OF IT. I will drop it in and everything will be fine, I will sort out your levels in the mix. Send me two mixes, one with you blended in where you see fit, and one with your stand-alone tracks. AS LONG AS YOU DON’T TRIM ANY TIME OFF OF IT!

    email your version to vealmarsala@gmail.com