Ween 'Just About Done' With New Album

Beloved rock duo Ween is "just about done" with its next studio album, guitarist Mickey "Dean Ween" Melchiondo tells Billboard.com. "That doesn't mean it's going to come out for awhile," he cautions.

Beloved rock duo Ween is "just about done" with its next studio album, guitarist Mickey "Dean Ween" Melchiondo tells Billboard.com. "That doesn't mean it's going to come out for awhile," he cautions. "We didn't want to take any money from a label right now and have to deal with their involvement throughout the recording process. We paid for it out of pocket. We're just about done tracking but we'll fiddle around with it for awhile since we're not really on a schedule. I hope it is out in the spring. It's very, very far along."

The group played two new songs, "Someday" and "Zoloft," at recent New York benefit shows to aid drummer Claude Coleman, who was seriously injured in a motorcycle accident. Melchiondo is tight-lipped about details but admits "Someday" is not likely to make the final cut. He says the sound of the new album will definitely take fans by surprise. "We're working on 18 or 19 tracks," he adds. "It's a longer record than the past couple. Wait until you hear it. It's pretty awesome, man."

The as-yet-untitled set is the follow-up to 2000's "White Pepper," Ween's final album for Elektra. The set debuted at No. 2 on Billboard's Heatseekers chart and has sold 72,000 copies in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan.

In the meantime, the group is prepping the second in a planned series of live concert albums for release before Christmas on its own Chocodog imprint. The next edition, a 3-CD set, will be drawn from a July 2000 show in Austin, Texas. "It's more in line with the whole Ween live experience," says Melchiondo of the performance, which runs more than two-and-a-half hours.

Amid his work on the Ween disc, Melchiondo has scheduled in two shows (Nov. 15 in Philadelphia, Nov. 19 in Asbury Park, N.J.) with his Moistboyz project, which also features vocalist Guy Heller. The group's hard rocking new album, "III," is out now via Ipecac, and Melchiondo expects to begin work on another album early next year.

"The Moistboyz have a ton of songs," he says of the project, which had been dormant since its 1996 sophomore set. "You'd be amazed actually just for the three short records we have. There's an enormous amount of tunes. We had nothing but time before. But on this one, there was no demoing or fine-tuning them. They were written, recorded, and released." Live, the group will be augmented by bassist Mick Preston, guitarist Bill Fowler, and drummer Chris Harfenist.

Here are the Moistboyz' tour dates:

Nov. 15: Philadelphia (Malokai's)
Nov. 19: Asbury Park, N.J. (the Saint)