Let’s just say it: There must be half a million people in North America alone who would trade a limb to honestly say that they got high with Gene and Dean. Ween fans are always doing things like kicking their way through dressing room walls and sneaking up on band members vomiting in public toilets just to say, “Yo Deaner—Ween is awesome.”
The Missoula show is sold out, and you either have your ticket or you don’t. But just for kicks, Mike Keefe-Feldman and I each picked the biggest Ween fan we know and tried to jimmy open their brains.
State age and sex for the record, please.
Subject A: 27. Male. Leo. Single.
Subject B: 22. Female.
On a scale of one to 10, with 10 being the most fanatical, how fanatical a Ween listener do you consider yourself?
A: Probably a nine. No matter how hard-core a fan you consider yourself to be, there’s always someone way crazier than you are.
Describe the conditions under which you were first exposed to the music of Ween. Was the attraction instantaneous, or did it take awhile for the music to grow on you?
A: My brother turned me onto it when I was still in high school. I wouldn’t say it was instantaneous, but it definitely sparked my interest. It wasn’t until I saw them live that I decided to devote my life to the Boognish.
B: We were young, smoked pot, got indirectly hooked on Ween. We knew that we liked it.
What is the most devoted thing you’ve ever done as a Ween fan?
A: Well, when I was still in high school I got a Boognish tattoo. It made my mom cry for half an hour. I’ve always had to drive some distance to see a show, because they’ve never played where I was living at the time. If I were a trust-fund kid, I’d quit my job and follow them around. Now that would be devotion. Devotion means stupid...right?
B: Didn’t have the money, but spent money on beer, weed and CDs instead of buying tickets when they came to Milwaukee. We splurged.
Have you ever met Ween? Do you desire personal contact with members of Ween? If so, what is your ideal/idealized Ween-meeting and/or Ween-hanging-out-with scenario?
A: I met a few of the boys a few years back, but it was pretty brief. They didn’t seem all that interested in my company, but I don’t blame them. They probably meet lunatic fans all the time. I’m not so sure I’d like to hang out with them. I think I’d probably set myself up for some disappointment. I think it’s good to have some untouchable things in your life.
B: We played Super Mario Cart for three hours. They are really cool, laid-back guys.
Do you readily form bonds with other Ween fans, or, rather, is mutual Ween fandom often a deciding factor in wanting to get to know someone better?
A: It’s fun meeting people you share common interests with, regardless of how silly it is. Look at the Trekkies. I’d hang out in a ballroom of some crappy hotel and swap Ween stories and memorabilia. Where do I sign up?
B: Yes. Once you meet, you are in an alternate state of consciousness. If you’re at an after-party and Ween comes on, like, yeah, there’s an inevitable bond.
Is Ween fandom generally an egalitarian arrangement, or have you noticed a tendency among fellow fans to establish a hierarchy?
A: There’s definitely folks out there who consider themselves bigger fans than the next, just because they’ve seen them X amount of times, or they have an ultra-rare seven-inch. The people I’ve met aren’t like that, though. It’s all about spreadin’ the good word...friend.
B: Definite egalitarian arrangement. There is no gender bias or no superiority.
Do drugs figure significantly in your enjoyment of Ween, or have they in the past?
A: Not so much these days, but damn did they ever when I was younger. I was all about takin’ “The Acid” or smokin’ “The Pot” and listening to Ween. I was convinced that it enhanced the music. I have a pretty fond memory of trippin’ at a show on the Mollusk tour. I thought I broke my jaw from smiling so much. When that record came out, my brother and I dropped some acid and put the CD on repeat until we couldn’t handle it anymore. Don’t do drugs, kids!
B: Yes. Ween is a common denominator.
Have you ever had sexual fantasies involving Ween music—or even Ween members themselves? Seriously, now.
A: No. I have had a ton of dreams where they’re involved in one way or another. Nothing sexual, though. I did have a dream once where I was making out with Prince. Who hasn’t had that dream, though?
B: No, but imagine having sex to “It’s Been Awhile Since I’ve Seen You Smile.” A true Ween fan would get goose-bumps for sure. Which album do you recommend to people who have never heard Ween before but want to? Why?
A: Probably White Pepper, because it’s more accessible than their other records. There aren’t as many songs on that one that make your brain hurt. Seriously, though...buy all of them!
B: Chocolate and Cheese. It has many different kinds of musical attractions. It’s the one I got hooked on.
I’m going to give you two words, and I want you to establish a relationship between them: “Ween” and “serious.”
A: Ah. I don’t think a lot of people take them seriously as a band, because they’ve had some “silly” songs in the past. That’s a shame, though, because they are damn fine musicians and songwriters.
B: They can be relaxed, euphoric, in-depth. It means so much. I’m not serious, but I’m serious about Ween.