After more than a quarter of a century known by his Ween alter ego of Gene Ween, singer Aaron Freeman has announced that he is putting that name and band to bed. Freeman, who formed Ween with guitarist/singer Mickey Melchiondo (aka Dean Ween) back in '84 in New Hope, Pa. says he's ready to focus on his solo career.

"It's time to move on," Freeman -- who issued his debut solo album, a cover of songs by reclusive '60s songwriter Rod McKuen titled 'Marvelous Clouds,' earlier this month -- tells Rolling Stone. "I'm retiring Gene Ween ... It's been a long time, 25 years. It was a good run."

Gene and Dean Ween released nine studio albums over the course of their time together, starting with 1990's 'GodWeenSatan: The Oneness' and running through 2007's 'La Cucaracha.' The duo's highest-charting single was 'Push the Little Daisies,' off their 1992 major label debut, which peaked at No. 21 on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart. But Ween were more successful as a touring act, earning a large cult following with their shape-shifting musical palette that touched on everything from alternative and indie rock to soul, punk, country and beyond.

Freeman remains on good terms with Melchiondo and Ween's backing players -- he just sees this as a chance to move forward and try something new. "For me it's a closed book," says Freeman, who admits he's been considering the move away from his main band for eight years. "In life sometimes, in the universe, you have to close some doors to have others open. There's no, 'Goddamn that such and such!' For me, I'd like to think it's a door I can close finally."

And with that, he opens the door on his solo career. "It's important to know that this isn't a side project," Freeman says. "I'm forging a new thing for myself. So that's all. There's no plans for any records or touring for Ween from my end."

Watch the Ween 'Push the Little Daisies' Video


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