Comments: 623 • Responses: 61  • Date: 

blk_sheep94 karma

Alrighty then - let's do this!

zosoleary89 karma

hey claude! ween has been my favorite band for a decade and a half now. about 6 years ago, i had to go to pennsylvania for a family wedding/reunion. wedding was fun, but the week long trip with the extended family was literal hell. i eventually rented a car and went driving aimlessly and ended up at some random bar (i remember seeing signs for a bethlehem and doylestown but the cities merge together so quickly, i have no idea what exact town i was in). anywho, walked into a bar and got tanked and when i went to tab out, the bartender told me someone paid my tab because of my shirt (old old ween shirt). i asked and she said it was you but i never got a chance to see you or thank you. so, thank you!

blackfrances11 karma

That's a cool story!

getinthecage6 karma

Yeah, seriously!

blk_sheep37 karma

Wow missed this one, apologies! Great story! I vaguely recall that, cos' I was tanked too! You welcome! Glad you found me

AsaBringman70 karma

Hi Claude, thanks for doing this AMA. Mickey Melchondio (a.k.a. Dean Ween) said he found out that Ween had disbanded from an interview Aaron Freeman gave to Rolling Stone magazine. How do you feel about the way Ween split up, and how were you notified that the band is no longer?

P.S. Good luck on your upcoming projects.

blk_sheep100 karma

Hi Asa - you're very welcome. I don't think it's any kind of secret how things transpired when Aaron broke the band up. Every one understood the motivation behind the decision, but yea, the way it went down was tad bit abrupt and with little warning. It was like, your wife/husband deciding to break up with you on tv, and your phone blowing up for hours on end with your friends directing you to your husband/wife's interview where she/he is explaining to someone that they're no longer your partner, then by the end of the day, it's on The following day you're looking at a timeline of your 25 year career - it was a bit surreal, a bit harsh, but everyone understands his decisions, and I along with everyone wishes the best for him. Ultimately it was a catalyst for some needed change of direction in my life.

Efflux30 karma

I'd also like to add, Do you know what Mickey and Aaron's feelings are to each other since the break? Was the break up completely unexpected to yourself and the rest of the band?

blk_sheep60 karma

I honestly can't speak for their relationship. Bands are like polygamy - almost literally so. Sometimes break-ups need a cool down period. Sometimes they regain companionship - sometimes they're enemies until the end of time.

ChillWithBenjamin57 karma

Hey Claude - thanks for the AMA! I'm a big patron over at /r/ween.

In September of 2006 Ween did a gig with The Magic Numbers, Sonic Youth, and The Flaming Lips. When you guys went on (3rd act I believe) you threw one of your drumsticks out to the crowd, while playing a tune. The guy behind me caught it. I turned around to give him a thumbs up and a congratulations. When I did so, the man gave me the drum stick. I was shocked that he would do such a thing and that he would be so nice/generous. I accepted it. I'm not exactly sure where it is today, but it was a great moment of my life. I was only six years old and I was on my dad's shoulders enjoying the musical experience that is Ween, my favorite band.

My question for you is how have you been able to put up with all the negativity in your life? How can you continue on and be a positive, badass, dude who rocks at drums? Any tips on staying positive through hard times? You certainly do not deserve all of those terrible things that happened to you over the years.

I am also a drummer and have drumming since the age of two. I'm thirteen now and am in a band with my dad and my brother. Claude, to put it simply, you inspire me to no end. Thanks for the years of entertainment!

blk_sheep64 karma

Awwww that's such a beautiful story, I would've done the same. You were six years old?? Shit, I'm an old coot. But I love the stories about generosity, love and decent compassion within the insanity of the shows. You don't have to be an asshole to be punk rock.

Um, thanks for the compliment on my positivity - I'm a black man but I can still blush.

I read a lot of Buddhist writings, particularly of the teacher Pema Chodron. In her writings I've found amazing tools and lessons for helping to keep you fluid, rolling with the shit that life throws at your head. It's I guess a matter of acceptance of that stuff at the same time not allowing it to become a hinderance to the open-ness that I believe is in everyone's heart. I'm a very strong believer in you get what you give, and you are awarded with your hopes and dreams if you have unending gratitude and compassion for everything around you. It's pretty simple. Plus I thoroughly enjoy being sweet, decent and fucking kind. That accident wasn't negative - it was one of the greatest gifts I could have every received.

You are most welcome - best of luck with you and yer pops' band!

daebat35 karma

Claude! I'm a huge fan of Ween, love me some EODM, and I'm new to the Amandla stuff but loving what I've heard. What would you say is your favorite Ween related story? Also, what's Josh Homme like? He seems like he could be an awesome dude but also be a huge dick. Can't wait for my Ace of Spades Shirt!

blk_sheep52 karma

Well that's two questions in one! I have too many stories competing for the top spot. Mickey's memory is better than mine. I like the stories involving him, and wrecking cars in the woods, deserting them and running home with sirens blaring across the Delaware valley and having cops show up at his house to chew him out for an hour threatening arrest - then telling how much they love Chocolate & Cheese and letting him off! There's like a dozen of those - dude has a rock guardian angel over him.

blk_sheep79 karma

Josh Homme is obviously a brilliant fucking dude and a pal and the internet is no place to slander a friend - even if he were a dick. Plus the dude is the size of fucking Ohio and would knock a dude out from here to Saturn. I hope he's not coming for you right now.

blk_sheep32 karma

I'm crash - landed back in Austin area. Whilst I crack open another frosty beverage and delve back into the hundreds of questions here, I would like to first address this issue my seeking funding through crowd-sourcing means.

There is a lot of misinformation and a lot of presumptuous hubris regarding a subject matter that none of the people questioning the matter seem to have any experience with. I understand some are simply curious which is totally fine, but with a few others, frankly, it's comes off as insulting and a shortcut to thinking.

As I addressed in this post - - I am a independent, contracted musician, paid by incident, by the gig, by the tour, by the whatever. If there is no incident, there is no income. Ween's last work was New Year's Eve, 2011. My last work with EoDM was one gig a month ago. Wow, I really must be rolling in it, huh.

I am familiar with many very, very famous musicians in NY, who are similarly struggling, working the door at clubs, supplementing their lives with whatever they can because they don't have enough gigs and the work is not steady. I delivered flowers this past Valentine's day. Picture that.

Notoriety does not equate to wealth - just because your girlfriend knows I'm the drummer in her favorite band, just because I play on big stages...this this does not automatically translate into a viable, sustainable income and a fantasy super-rich lifestyle. It's fragile, short-lived work that at the end of the day struggles to cover a quarter of a person's average expenses for a month of living.

Independently contracted musicians are on a completely different economic structure system than songwriters. They're not on the record contracts. They don't receive publishing income; the mechanical royalties received on the work they do is a trickle from a flaccid penis.

Currently, I live out of my car, sleeping in a studio control room in a friends home, with no consistent income to speak of, hustling around as I work on other people's music. I have no complaints at all - I have the wealth of strong spirit and beautiful people in my life. But this is my realty until I get grounded once again after which, I won't be asking for donations - I didn't for the first two records I made. But this idea of me needing to sustain some kind of 'lifestyle' that I'm now accustomed to from my years of rock stardom is truly, truly absurd.

I acquired a home only through a near-death car accident rendering me in lifelong chronic pain that I'm now going to lose from divorce and a loss of my work with Ween, because I cannot afford to live in it; it faces foreclosure if it's not sold. It is only because I am so in the red and in arrears with everything and everyone that I'm seeking help to make this record at all, the first time I've ever done so - my first two records were paid for my own money. I'm unsigned, unrepresented, and self-funded.

If someone really wants, I can support this argument with tax returns, with contacts of friends who've loaned me cash to get heating oil; to put gas in my car to get me to my carpentry gig. Whatever you need to put this issue to bed already.

I'm doing this AMA to promote my efforts to make a record, to meet the fans I've played to for over 20 years, in order to help me make more music. I have tremendous love for the people who show me love, even for those who are blindly ignorant to the realities of a life of musicianship. But please take your ignorance of the subject elsewhere so I can focus on connecting with these people that matter to me most, or please try and digest what I'm saying and stop bringing it up. It's distracting to the fun being had here.

diligentdogs4 karma

This whole thing was extremely interesting and dead on. Thanks for typing it out.

to put gas in my car to get me to my carpentry gig

Yo....what type of carpentry do you do?

blk_sheep5 karma

Your welcome. People are really beyond clueless, and then feel the need to assert their cluelessness which only makes them look foolish.

I started out as a framer carpenter, but since rebuilding my home - the one I just lost - my finishing skills are pretty good too.

GringoDeMaio4 karma

Very very well said. I think there's still some residual animosity from Zach Braff hitting kickstarter to make a movie.

People assume too much in general, and specifically about the life of a working musician.

Also in a typical seven-day period, how many times does Dave Dreiwitz (sp?) wear a leisure suit of some sort?

blk_sheep3 karma

I'm not familiar with Braff's thing, but it's seemed to inadvertently do a major disservice. I just saw that Filter - Filter, dude - is raising money for their world tour - $40K their asking. Don't they have Grammies?? There are much bigger devils out there.

I went to high school with the Braff's actually, Columbia High, Maplewood, NJ.

It is said that fame changes everyone else, not really you. There is much truth to this. All you have to do is get on tv once, and your friends look at you like you're fucking pissing gold.

Does Dave where leisure suits that often? Dunno I always play/hang with him in V-necks.

Thanks your compliment.

blackfrances27 karma

How did you meet Mickey and Aaron?

blk_sheep24 karma

I was in a band Skunk, in the early 90's. Andrew Weiss was our producer, and Andrew was putting out all the early Bird O' Prey Ween tape releases, consequently becoming their/our producer. We did a few shows together, and we all became friends. We had Ween open up for us in our bass player's basement - it was our label showcase for TwinTone- our A&R guy flew in from Minneapolis, and we had Ween open for us. Just us, and the guy who was signing us to TwinTone in a basement in Maplewood, NJ. Times were real different!

Ween opened for us, and Dave Ayers signed them pretty much instantly, then and there, he totally got it.

PrimusSucksOnThis24 karma

Which Ween song was the most difficult song that originally had a drum machine to play on a drum set? As a drummer myself, I love jamming along to Ween tunes and fuckin around when I jam to songs like Blackjack.

blk_sheep12 karma

I'm really sorry I missed this too. All these questions came in and I hadn't refreshed the page!

I really appreciate that question, because there are a shit ton of drum machine songs that are more or less absolutely impossible to replicate on a drum set - mickey does that intentionally - that I more or less just approximate to the best of my ability, using great cunning and my devilishly handsom looks! Schetches of Winkle and Reagga Junkie Jew are totally brain busters!

Lord_Osis_B_Havior23 karma

No question, but I want you to know that the number one item on my playlist in 2003 was your Where'd the cheese go? jingle. I couldn't get enough of it.

blk_sheep28 karma

Good jam!

blk_sheep18 karma

Yo !

That was good fun and my total pleasure to do. Feel free to throw a follow-up, why not. I'll check back later and respond to any other questions. It was totally enjoyable -

cheers claude

geoffgrindd16 karma

Have your brain injuries effected your talent in any way?

Edit: spelling

kanrom12 karma

i am also curious about this. from the audience, you look like you are stll in your prime with no sign of the horrible injuries you sustained. but, do you have any physical limitations that still linger?

rjl_7 karma

...or did you have to re-teach yourself anything. And if so, was it a help at all? I.e., did you avoid any previous bad habits, or approach playing from a new perspective?

blk_sheep70 karma

Living with brain injuries is a silent torment. I appear to be fine, but I live with chronic, at times debilitating pain that hasn't left in 12 years. The entire left side of my body is numb with affected sensation; in cooler weather it's always freezing, and warmer temperatures that side sweats constantly, and I have about 13% paralysis along the left side. So with that, my spacial relationship to the drumkit is really challenged. Until I acclimated to the loss of sensation and the paralysis, for several years I would routinely smash the living shit out of my l left hand, just about everywhere on the kit, from mis-judging distances. My body would cramp up horribly, I'd walk off a gig limping like I fell from a plane with no parachute.

I've learned to work through it all - I have to warm up now to get the brain connections strong, and to loosen the paralysis a bit. I've learned to use my eyes a bit more with playing rather than with a feeling that isn't really there. And I've moving things closer in to my body. I do yoga, and get massages frequently.

Drumming became very second nature to me, now it's more like third nature - it's still natural to a degree, but I do have to put a little more thought into it. The best approach to it I've found, is to not even think about it, and just play, play, play.

ispotteduinthesun16 karma

About 15 years ago I saw you play with Ween in Atlanta at a place called the Masquerade. You had a 5th of some whiskey, perhaps Jack Daniels, on your drum platform. I did not see anyone else drink from that bottle except for you during the entire show (that is not to say other band members were not imbibing other things). At some point between keeping impeccable time for all those incredible songs you were up in the rafters swinging around like it was a playground. The bottle was empty at the end of the show.

So my question is...did you really finish that 5th of whiskey by yourself?

You rock!

blk_sheep12 karma

Thank you, and you rock too!

Yea I have a habit of picking stuff up, having a quick sip or even a bite of food - when you're playing a ten hour ween show you might need a damn drink once in a while! I can't remember that 5th exactly but I'm going to guess, yes. And then some, son!

GudgerCollege14 karma

What was Deaner talking about?

blk_sheep12 karma

See answer below. I love the little sad, caring expressions of concern they write for each other - I.e. 'I Saw Gener Crying in His Sleep'. So poignant, makes me shed a manly tear.

rawmeatface14 karma

How have your opinions of Aaron and Mickey changed over the many years of knowing them and playing with them?

Do you feel like being involved with Ween has enhanced or debilitated your ability to be the musician you hoped to be?

What are your short term and long term plans?

blk_sheep16 karma

That's a very personal question I suppose but I think to myself and to many people they've gone far beyond any idea of them as humor laden, or a joke. In fact, they're more serious and passionate almost to a conservative ideal, than anyone I know or play with.

I absolutely have been inspired, prodded and pushed way beyond my imagination and abilities with Ween, Jesus yes! With no Ween these days, I literally need 5-6 bands to play with to have meet the creative output I was blessed to enjoy for the last 20 years.

For now, I'm mixing the band TV Tramps of which I'm producing and playing bass; I'm about to start the best amandla record I've ever done; I'm working a lot with EoDM; I'm working and performing around the area of Austin. Its a full enough plate. But with amandla I'm going to be pushing it very, very hard in the next few years. Longer term than that, I want to lose a little bit of weight, move to San Diego for a spell, and plot my intergalactic domination!

rjl_13 karma

Since it looks like you're going to be pretty hands-on, DIY with this project, how much involvement will you have with the final master?

You probably already know, but from the mid-90's onward, CD/digital masters tended be squashed flat and made LOUD, killing any dynamic range, and sometimes the listening experience.

Do you have any feelings re: the so-called "loudness wars"? Or, any insight into why this continues to happen?

Also... the obligatory and unimaginative... any funny Ween tour stories that you'd like to share? Or, favorite artists you've shared the stage with?

blk_sheep30 karma

The final master?? Well, I'm doing all the instruments mostly, engineering mostly as well...I'll probably in the mixing sessions, as well as the mastering sessions. I was for the first two.

Yea, dynamics is being assaulted - music sounds bloody atrocious to my ears. I have no interest in assuming anything that sounds like that crap. I like breath, space, emotion - all the elements that accompany real sounds, and real music. Put on the recording of Heart of Gold or something - it's like that shit never happened or something!

Yes, the obligatory funny ween tour story question - I get it! Someplace in Canada I think, our FOH got a bag of chronic brownies one night. I had gotten a nice sack of some stickie ickie myself. After smoking a number the band settled to the back of the tour bus, to watch a movie - 2001 A Space Odyessy. Everyone was in the dark. I was feeling pretty cool, so I decided to wolf a chronic brownie as well.

blk_sheep27 karma

We were all in the dark. Now in that movie, there's no dialogue for like 35 minutes or something, until they find the goddamned monolith - the apes start freaking, this sound that sounds like engine gears being grinded with other engine gears slowly increases in volume until its deafining....

blk_sheep28 karma


I'm starting to sweat. Hard, cold sweat down my face. I'm looking around, everyone else is fine! Shit, I'm losing it. The volume on the stereo is full blast, cos' Mickey has legitimate hearing loss.

The sweat increases, I had to get the hell of there. I get up, BAM! black out cold. I open my eyes everyone is above me. This was after the accident, so everyone was worried I was having a damn aneurism or something. I'm fine I say, I'm fine. I wasn't! I get up to try and get to the kitchen - BAM! I go down again! This time the bus is on the side of the road, I wake up again to everyone freaking the fuck out, trying to hold me down from getting up and blacking out again. I think we might broke the travel that night to get me to a safe place. Lesson learned! 2001 and potent weed are just not cool at all!

Favorite artists I've shared stages with - that's a huge list - Bobby Ogden, Marc Ribot, Jennifer Charles...but I gotta get to the rest of these questions!

dogfisher12 karma

What was your favorite show/time period with WEEN?

blk_sheep22 karma

Hmmm there was a period for about 8 years or so, where I literally couldn't believe I was involved with something so profoundly amazing, on so many different levels; Ween was the best friking band in the world - it was every band in the world - and we got to do it for hours on end in the most circus-like atmosphere that you couldn't invent. Fans dressed in costumes, followed us everywhere. Maybe up until White Pepper. This might be my favoritie period. It was absolutely divine, the insanity and music we made. I'll never, ever forget every demo that would come in when they were doing a new record. It was song after song after brilliant fucking song, just effortless! They would be cracking themselves up at the tracks,. It was so special and unreal. Eventually it became bigger than itself in a way - not any less amazing - just different. Apples and oranges - both succulent fruit if you know what I'm sayin.

deadlie1310 karma

I know you've been asked this a thousand times, but what are your honest thoughts on Mickey and Aaron's musical work since Ween split (Aaron touring solo and Mickey recording new albums and fishing show)? Are there any hopes of those two working together on the same project in the future? And, lastly, are there any plans to tour with Amandla? I saw you play in Atlanta last time and had a blast!

blk_sheep21 karma

I truthfully think their musical work has yet to really begin, so I reserve any judgment on anything. But genius doesn't just fucking evaporate into the ether - I would expect nothing less than all the passion and creative brilliance that there was before.

Again I cannot speak for any of them regarding any chances of them working together in the future, but I would be wholly unsurprised by another project popping up, in whatever space and time that it takes. I'd be more surprised if nothing happened again.

Yea I want to tour with amandla, very very much so - I'm a 100% independent pay as a I go artist with that, so hopefully this fundraiser will enable me to get out as much as I'm chomping at the bit to do. That atlanta show was really fun - love that town.

Born2Hula210 karma

Hi Claude, I'm a huge EoDM fan. I was wondering if you could describe Jesse Hughes and Josh Homme in 10 words or less

blk_sheep11 karma

Cosmic. Sleepless. Atom Nucleuses. Centers of gravity. Heaven and Hell! Ginger balls!

TreyviusAurelius8 karma

Sup Sugardick? I just saw EODM under the arch in St. Louis, and it was a great fucking show. I had no idea you were in Ween also....pretty sweet.

What's it like coming in for EODM? Do you just learn the set, and go tour? Do you have any writing/arranging input? Is it required to have a near death experience to be part of EODM rhythm section?

Also, when did Brian Posehn start playing lead for EODM? And tell Jesse he's one fine dance moving mustached son of a bitch.

blk_sheep7 karma

Thanks! I did my first tour with EoDM in '08 or so. Josh brought me in. It was when EoDM was sans bass - guitars and drums - and in vans doing mid-size venues.THAT was some craziness feh sho. Yea, I just learned the music, we rehearsed for maybe half a minute in NY, and went out and blasted the shit apart everywhere. We gigged CB's which was cool to do before the club closed. I'm so psyched to be reunited with him again, and playing his tunes which are my favorite of anyone in rock around.

No writing experience, but I did write the tune BackDown which I released for amandla (with accompanying puppet video) entirely based on Jesse, hence the falsetto. I wrote it pretty fast, and Jesse obsessed on it so hard it became the walk-out music for our gigs.

Hahaha yea near-death seems a recurring theme. BOC is an inspiration and a half. A beautiful, big-handed soul of a man.

Whose Brian Posehn? And yea, Jesse's obviously part Negro or something, the boy can shake it.

hangingtree68 karma

Hi Mr. Sugardick, who in Eagles of Death Metal do you think has the funniest nickname? Could you also provide a backstory as to how they got that name? Thanks, big fan.

blk_sheep14 karma

Great question!

So...As I mentioned in an earlier response, I first toured with EoDM in '08. While out and getting close with Boots I couldn't help but notice his thang with the ladies...For obvious his shit was on an entirely other level. It was like: 'warm and sunny with a 98% of a booty storm later in the evening'.

Anyway, so based off of Sweet Dick Willie in Spike Lee's Do the Right Thing, I starting calling HIM Sugardick. Over and over. Somehow in the course of time it was turned back upon ME, and I became Sugardick! Which, is fine because it is a badass nickname, as it's not without some shred of truth there....just sayin.

swandiesel8 karma

I'm from new hope and frequent John and Peters. I believe I've seen you play on a few occasions!! Very awesome! Go New Hope! But also I have a question. Do you go by Jimmy Wilson? ('Waving My Dick in the Wind")

blk_sheep11 karma

Nice - I'm James Wilson Sr. You can call me Jim though.

joopius8 karma

What is the inspiration for the unique sound of the Eagles of Death Metal?

blk_sheep10 karma

Booty shaking, ass clapping, boot stomping Rock n roll. Real rock n roll - with emphasis on the ROLL. The sound of the 50-60's, the real shit. The shit you could grab yer honey and swing her around and around and dance her through to pleasure. It's an emotional place for sure.

kanrom6 karma

did you ever actually put coke on your dick?

blk_sheep7 karma



blk_sheep10 karma

Whelp, that's where the purposefulness of song for fantasy comes in, I'm afraid. So no. But there's time I think. There's always time.

NavinJ6 karma

Thanks for doing an AMA Claude. Long time fan.. In what ways ,if any, did your auto accident injuries & recovery impact your drumming, perception of people and your approach to everyday life? Also... did you ever regret inviting all us idiots on Alt.Music.Ween out to your spread for the party?

blk_sheep12 karma

You're very f'ing welcome, thanks. I wrote a bit about the accident previously. But it's an ongoing education. Living through an experience such as that, and living alongside it's harsh attributes gets you very in touch with your mortality, which is the most important lesson you could want. You see the way assholes cut you off on the highway, ride your ass at 80 mph like they're going to live forever and it just doesn't make any sense whatsoever. So I treat everything with preciousness; I play every gig like it's my last, I swear to you. If I get fucking killed after this gig, you're going to fucking remember the last time you saw me play, period.

My favorite quote is, the essence of age is regret. So I never regret anything, to live forever youthful. I definitely don't regret the invites! I loved it! I would get nice gifts, bottles, bags, if you know what'm saying. I've always lived in places that I could throw big parties. Those parties were so much fun.

If I do have a regret, it's that I can't do that anymore, because that some online ween environments are laced with adolescent racist, misogynist jackasses playing tough behind the wall of internet anonymity - punk asses drunk on the Haterade playing latently homosexual tag with each other, showing each their bowels as foreplay.

matty256 karma

Does Jesse Hughes off stage behavior mimic his on stage persona? I'd have to imagine he's pretty fun to hang out with to say the least.

Also, what's up with a new EODM album? Is there one in the works?

Fyi, I saw you play at SXSW. I was standing right next to Brad Wilk and he seemed to enjoy the show. He's a pretty accomplished drummer himself so I thought I'd share.

blk_sheep7 karma

Jesse's a raging social animal of the most awesome order. The saying is, that some people are born rock stars who learn how to play music. He's the most supreme example of this. I love that dude to death.

Yea, he's writing for the next record. If I can get my amandla recording wrapped up in time and get myself out to CA, I'm hoping to put a stamp or two on it. Either way, there's a record in the works, and they'll be incessant touring to follow, that I'll be mixing with incessant amandla touring.

Yea! I hung out with Brad that day, he's a close friend of BOC's, so we caught up. And I agree, he's totally killer. The new Sabbath record - whoa now!

kokirikid6 karma

I really love your work and I think it's really cool that you're doing this. What is your favorite song to play with Eagles of Death Metal? Who would you consider your biggest musical influences growing up?

blk_sheep14 karma

Thanks to you! Ah Shit I really love Jesse's tunes - Cherry Cola is just such a perfect damn song - it reminds me of early Kiss or something. So that's a favorite. Boy's Bad News is nice cooker too - punk rock but still funky as only he can do.

Hmm growing up I was into a pretty motley assortment of music that probably makes little sense. I was into all the 70's rock, all the 70-80's R&B bands, and in the 80-90's I was into that era of music I consider to be a golden era of alternative music - Minutemen, Descendants, all that stuff. I was always into super strong, super creative and adventurous music. I was actually a late bloomer with the standardish stuff like Beatles, or Hendrix even.

dogfisher5 karma

Now that you are moving west, does that cut down on the chance for a WEEN reunion?

daebat8 karma

I'd say the ween reunion weighs more heavily on Mickey and Aaron actually talking it out rather than Claude being around.

dogfisher2 karma

True, though, the chances of just getting together to see how it goes are cut down dramatically with the move... unlike that recent J&P's jam with everyone but Aaron.

daebat3 karma

With the amount of money involved I think Claude would make the trip.

blk_sheep11 karma

Ok, ok having said that, yes all issues and hopes around the idea of a Ween reunion falls on the heads of those two. They must become friends again, to make music again, and its that simple. It's not outside of the realm of possibilities.

Like I said, with the proper motivation and energy, you make happen whatever the hell you want to. Everyone - myself included - will have to wait and see.

blk_sheep7 karma

Nah, I lived in London during the busiest period in Ween's career probably - White Pepper. Location doesn't trump motivation. But the motivation has to be there...

MisterMcKay5 karma

Is Gene Ween as weird as he seems?

blk_sheep14 karma

Weirder. But who isn't?

StrangeLoveNebula5 karma

I just want to say that I love your music. Who is your biggest musical influence?

blk_sheep6 karma

Thanks to you - for amandla? Hmmm, I always felt pretty dang lucky to have my greatest musical influences be the people right next to me, the people in my life that I make all other music with, because those people are striving, and tired-less like me. But there's really too many to mention. Maybe at the top of the list is Stevie. As in Wonder.

blk_sheep4 karma

Hey folks, a slew of questions came in that I hadn't seen because I didn't refresh my browser as I was answering. I'm an route back to Austin area, and promise to answer each and every one once I can sit down. Apologies for the brown - and thanks for the interest, the kind accolades, and the fantastic tales. I'm quite green with the reddit realm.

Answers later - Claude

MisterPhip4 karma

I've watched a bunch of Ween live shows (in person and on video) and I've noticed that sometimes while you're hitting the groove on the drum kit you tap yourself on top of your head with the sticks. What's that all about? Do you ever lose yourself in the groove and tap your head much harder than you meant?

Thank you, LOVE Ween and LOVED being a fan for the past 20 years or so!

blk_sheep11 karma

I do what?? I don't know what yer talking about! I may be signaling to my roadie that I need more whiskey. I don't think I lose the groove....?

Your welcome, I loved Ween too and loved being a fan.

rjl_3 karma

Oh, and will the Ace shirts be available in different sizes?

blk_sheep10 karma

Yes, all sizes!

blackfrances-1 karma

Speaking of the Ace of Spades shirt, is that some sort of racial play on words or something?

blk_sheep1 karma

No but funny you should ask, because I have a version of the ace of spades shirt that's black print on a black shirt, that I call the 'Spade of Spades' shirt. So that is, sure!

tchance3 karma

Thanks for doing this Claude, I pledged some money about a week back, can't wait for the record.

On to the question. What do you think is your favorite Ween record that you've been on? Or the one that holds a particularly special place in your heart.

More general, how about a run down on one or two your favorite albums of all time?

Thanks Claude, stay brown, I wish you the best of luck with your indiegogo campaign.

blk_sheep9 karma

thanks so much for that -

Hmm, I would say White Pepper was perhaps the special one for me. It involved the full band, tracking together as we normally play, and we got to do it in the gorgeous surrounding of Bearsville Studio, now shut down. We lived up there in an old home with catering, I had my missus with me so It was like a work vacation. And we made great music with those great songs. A beautiful memory.

My dessert island records might include the first Cheap Trick record Cheap Trick, Veedon Fleece by Van Morrison, or any early Fleetwood Mac. Lindsey Buckingham is my favorite guitar player, and Mick Fleetwood is one of my favorite drummers.

fullofdays3 karma

what instruments other than your own do you tend to focus on when playing live? Do you tune into other instruments more than others? How does interdependance of other instrumentsplay into your style?

blk_sheep3 karma

Live my monitors has a balanced mix of me pumped up pretty good, but I have Deaner louder than God in there, then the Vox is totally on top of everything. Everything follows the vocals, everything. Mickey and I have intense and constant interplay. I always play off of people, and that why I love playing jazz, its really enjoyabl.

ShouldBeAnUpvoteGif3 karma

Damn. I cant believe I missed this.

blk_sheep5 karma

Hi there -

snipsnipsnappy3 karma

Claude, longtime fan of Ween here, just want to say thank you for doing this, and keeping it so very real as well. Here's my question:

What are the options for a (extremely skilled and talented) musician like yourself? You've mentioned your hardships, and I don't for a second doubt the reality you've described, but I do find it pretty bleak that a person as gifted as yourself can't find a regular paycheck. What about session work? Or, is that something you're not interested in? Is there no 'in between' success and living in your car anymore for a working musician?

Anyhoo, that's like a hundred questions in one. Thanks for all you've done and continue to do...

blk_sheep5 karma

Hey there, and you're very, very welcome -

My current situation is from the result of a combination of recent and specific circumstances that have unfortunately worsened the already inherent struggles of being a self-sufficient, independent musician. It was not always like this at all, and my current story is very specific to current, personal events.

Every musician's story and relationship to their mode of employment is always quite different. I lived pretty ok and self sufficient for many years - not rich, basking in luxury or reveling in a top-level lifestyle - but I was able to manage and live normally and comfortably for a good length of time.

There are many levels of self-sustainability that are well within reason that shouldn't ever discourage anyone from seeking out a life as as self-employed musician.

For me, I have personally found it very difficult to manifest any type of outcome from the the contacts I have built out from my life in music. This could be for any variety of reasons: maybe I'm not marketable enough; maybe I'm not local enough; maybe I'm not white enough. Who knows. but I stopped trying some time ago. It's just too disheartening, and hard not to take personally.

For me, finding an agent or representative to try an elevate into the status of everyone else I know has always been difficult, and I cannot explain why. It doesn't matter how matter people say I'm their god, how many articles are published proclaiming me to the rhythmic savior of planet Earth; how I'm the best drummer in the world, how many drum articles come out, how much press or TV I've done.

DW just finally accepted me as an endorsee, after literally 6 years of trying, with my famous friends like Josh Freese making special mentions to them in my favor. It never did anything, I was rejected 3 times in a row! I was finally accepted after an EoDM European festival tour this past August where the British DW rep probably screamed at the US rep here in Cali. So even real work and exposure doesn't always manifest into true and legitimate recognition, representation, and consequent work in the field. It just doesn't. People are fickle.

I have the most famous friends's numbers on my phone. I get referrals, I cold call them, it meets a dead end. Over and over, year after year.

But it is certainly not like this for everyone, in fact it's just the opposite. I soon hope to join them one day, and look back on this period as an anomaly that maybe didn't even happen really. And I don't think it's going to be like this very much longer, because assholes are going to have to recognize market value and stop being so exclusionary and preferential.

Until then, I'm plugging away, doing my thing, playing as brilliantly as I can and ignoring it all. But this should not dissuade anyone whatsoever from fining their path and place in the industry. Keep the faith, life will find you and set you up. Everyone has a different story.

A great pleasure to meet you and thanks again.

jrjulius2 karma

Hey, I don't have a question but on the off chance that you see this, I just wanted to say that the Live in Chicago DVD (and Browntracker, subsequently) completely changed the way I thought about rock drumming.

Glad to see you're well and busy! Thank you for being rad.

blk_sheep4 karma

Thanks and well I'm trying to keep busy to stay alive. I've run out of all the gold bars Ween has earned me and had to refund the country I purchased with the truckloads of cash I made from Put the Coke on My Dick.

I never thought myself as a rock drummer per se, but there you go. Cheers

Clarkson232 karma

Have you jammed with Josh Homme?

blk_sheep3 karma


O_littoralis2 karma

I got to meet you after a show at the Stone Pony a few years ago. You were super gracious and spent time with everyone, it really made my night. Thanks for all the great shows through the years!

What is your favorite Ween song to play live?

blk_sheep3 karma

Your welcome - I have many favs - I answered this earlier but favs are the tender tunes such as Sorry Charlie or Tender Situation.

Totalblackout2 karma

I only made it to 2 ween shows. Then they break up and I miss this AMA too. Best of luck Claude.

blk_sheep5 karma

You didn't miss it, and sorry for your loss. And thank you for your well wishes. Perhaps you can start a therapy session for the other users here who feel they need to police the world and act like tough boys.

ichegoya2 karma

What brands do you use? I use Vic Firth sticks and I had some nice Paiste crash's, but then I cracked one and replaced it with Zildjian. Thoughts?

blk_sheep4 karma

I currently use Bosphorus Cymbals but I'm looking to switch; Vater 5B wood tips. Paiste's are notorious for cracking - it sucks. Drum gear is so unnecessarily overpriced. It's like, I could pay my rent for 4 months - or buy this shiny drumkit, wow.

oil_field_trash2 karma

Alaska wants you back again! Had so much fun last time around, I'll have more of that moose sausage again. ;)

blk_sheep4 karma

Man I lost many years off my life trying to keep up with you Alaskans. God, you can drink.

kid_blue2 karma

I have an exboyfriend that would be very upset with me if I didn't reach out to you in some way. I don't think I have a question. Thanks for doing what you do.

blk_sheep3 karma

You are so welcome, and thank you that. You folks be well!

leapfroggy2 karma

Do you remember the show Ween played in October 2007 at the LC Pavillion in Columbus, Ohio where 30+ ladies got onstage and spontaneously got naked during the encore to LMLYP? Does that happen often?

blk_sheep6 karma

That happened for about 10 years straight. As a famous rock star friend of mine once said ' there's no such thing as bad boobies'.

a_epstein2 karma

saw you with Ween at Red Rocks with the flaming lips a few years back. Seemed like a really special show, Which venues stick out to you as "special"?

blk_sheep3 karma

Red Rocks is totally one of the greatest on the planet. The Gorge in Washington is even more over the top. But then, there's Stubbs of course, and McCarren in Brooklyn is very uniquely cool. Diamond Ballroom in Oak City is pretty special too.

TastyHorse2 karma

Claude! I only started getting into EODM a few months back, and my girlfriend and I crank "Whorehoppin" every time we go somewhere. Great stuff and we love it. So. A question from the both of us...

Any talk of a tour? We'd pay a lot of good money to see it!

Also, I know it's not too much of your style, but I'd like to have some feedback on some music I've done lately! Thanks!

blk_sheep3 karma

Riffage! Crunchy! What's not to like?

But.....get a bass player!

SeanMc272 karma

Firstly, Thanks Claude for doing AMA! :) Now, did you have any times where you doubted your musical ability and felt like giving up, if so how did you get over it? And... What advice would you give young music makers who one day aspire to be touring Musicians? Thanks once again, :)

blk_sheep5 karma

I'm super humble, super modest, and every time I sit behind the kit or play with amandla I'm hyper-sensitive, full of doubt, with fragile confidence. I really am. I think its the burden of really wanting to be that good - you'll never really be that good! So I've just learned to live with. I shit you not - I'll play in front of thousands, on tv or whatever, and will have to ask someone if it was cool; I'm thinking about that flam I fucked up on the bridge of the 8th tune, that kind of shit.

I dunno if I will ever get over it, or if I want to. I want to feel like I need to practice forever, because dammit, you do need to practice, and it's important to be humble about your skills. There's always - ALWAYS - someone faster, cleaner, better in general and who looks prettier. That's just the way it is! You do what you can, you express your voice as best you can, and you try and enjoy that to the fullest. It's about the process, not the product!

Advice? Be good. Be unquestionably good at what your're trying to do. That's how people will want to play with you, that's how you work. You get skilled. It's kind of a no-brainer.

Your welcome!

dead_gerbil2 karma

Is everything in normal life too normal to handle after knowing Deener and Gener?

blk_sheep4 karma

Ha! Being in Ween has prepared me for the best of the best, and the exact converse of that! Things were tapering off for a while now, so it's not exactly being like a fish out of water, but there are odd moments of feeling pulled backwards in time a bit if that makes any sense.

WunderBoy122 karma

I personally don't believe in "guilty pleasures", but is there anything you listen to that would surprise people?

blk_sheep3 karma

Oh sure yea. I love Cindy Lauper. TLC. Massive Kate Bush fan.

Snoos_my_dawg2 karma

Whered the muthafuckin cheese go at?

blk_sheep3 karma

It's in my new cheese factory in the Swiss Alps that I just bought.

Salacious--12 karma

Do you have any actual interest in answering questions, or are you honestly just here for indiegogo donations?

blk_sheep13 karma

I have actual genuine interest in answering questions, that is only if people have actual interest in asking them.