The Dean Ween Group is the first project Mickey Melchiondo launched during the four years Ween was inactive in the 2010s.
Melchiondo adopted the name Dean Ween when he was a teenager in New Hope, Pennsylvania. He and friend Aaron Freeman -- who called himself Gene Ween -- formed Ween when they were just 14 years old, never imagining that they'd be saddled with those monikers for the rest of their lives. Ween, a post-punk prank infatuated with Prince, turned into a cult phenomenon in the '90s, gathering momentum as the band jumped from independents to the majors, earning a reputation as a killer live band along the way. Melchiondo started to moonlight in the '90s, mainly with the hardcore band Moistboyz but also appearing on records by Yoko Ono, Ben Vaughn, Pigface and Queens of the Stone Age. Ween kept going until 2012, when Freeman left the band. After a few years, Melchiondo regrouped with the Dean Ween Band, who released their first album in the fall of 2016, several months after he reunited with Freeman for several concerts.
By that point, Melchiondo launched a side project called Mickey's Guide Service, captaining a fishing boat off the Jersey Shore, a project that kept him busy as he sorted out his future after Ween. He played on Low Cut Connie's 2015 album Hi Honey, then started the Dean Ween Group, recruiting Ween road band members Claude Coleman, Glenn McClelland, and Dave Dreiwitz to play residencies in New Hope, then they cut the record that became The Deaner Album, which was released in October of 2016, several months after Melchiondo reunited with Freeman for live dates by Ween. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi