Debut Album from Ween Co-Founder Mickey Melchiondo's New Project!
The Deaner Album is the debut album from The Dean Ween Group. Dean Ween aka Mickey Melchiondo recorded the album in several locations but finished it at his dedicated studio facility in Lambertville, NJ, across the river from his native New Hope, PA. On The Deaner Album, Dean brings his love of classic guitar rock to 14 original compositions (including four instrumentals) that echo everything from classic rock to cracked country to the quirky mix of soul, funk, metal and punk that defined Ween. "My tastes are very mainstream; I love Jimi Hendrix and Santana and Zeppelin, but my ears are always open," Dean says. "P-Funk, they're right up there with the Beatles. That's what my influences were – that and punk rock – and I wanted all that in this album."
Initially, The Deaner Album found Dean moving to a more ensemble approach to recording, as he enlisted the services of current bandmates as well as old friends including the Meat Puppets' Curt Kirkwood, legendary punk drummer Chuck Treece, and guitarists Mike "Kidd Funkadelic" Hampton, Scott Rednor, and Bill Fowler among others. "If I woke up in the middle of the night with an idea, I'd call a session and have the whole band come in and learn the song and play it together," dean says. "That was really different for me. I could actually show some patience and not just half-ass it. If I needed a drummer, I'd get the best drummer I could to play that particular song."
Another huge change for Dean was moving into his own studio, converted from an old chicken coop in the woods of Western New Jersey on a patch of land donated by a friend's father. "I think finally having my own studio has been a big part of why this record is as good as it is," he says. "All the gear I've acquired over the years that's been in storage and my garage and my attic, it's all in one place now. Every guitar I've ever bought, every amp, every pedal, every effect, all in one place and it's all getting used all the time. I'm there pretty much all day, every day, all night, every night, doing something – recording, practicing, mixing. It's in the country, in the woods, nobody can hear us, and I've got a sound system in there powerful enough to power a big club. And you can go outside in your underwear and smoke a cigarette or blow off a grenade and nobody's going to hear you."
Dean recorded three of the tracks on the album by himself, playing all of the instruments. That includes "SchwarzPete," a loving tribute to guitar hero Les Paul and the collection's oldest song, originally written years ago for a TV pilot. "I always wanted that song to be on a record," he says. "I love that style of guitar playing." Before diving headfirst into The Deaner Album, Dean produced and engineered Moistboyz V, his fifth collaboration with punk singer Guy Heller. "My idea was to do the Moistboyz' record and my record at the same time, but I realized I needed to focus on one record at a time and shelved my record for a bit," he says. "Then when I moved into my new studio a year or so ago, I just really went all in on my record, no distractions, no side projects. I did a lot of gigging, but that just benefited the record because my playing and singing just kept getting better."