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Wesley Louden Borland (born February 7, 1975 in Richmond, Virginiamarker), better known as Wes Borland, is an American musician, best known as the guitarist for the band Limp Bizkit.

He has been in several other bands, including The Damning Well, Goatslayer and Big Dumb Face. He also recorded on From First to Last's Heroine album in 2006, and served as bass guitarist for the band's subsequent tour. Borland was well known for his bizarre stage appearance, and for his fondness of musical artists that differed greatly from the musical tastes of his bandmates in Limp Bizkit. Borland performed in Black Light Burns, in which he wrote most of the music and sang. As of 2009, Borland has rejoined Limp Bizkit.

Biography

Early years

Borland's family moved from Virginia to Jacksonville, Floridamarker where his father took a pastoral job at a Presbyterian Church. In Florida, Borland met bassist Sam Rivers, but the two did not get along due to rivalries between local bands. He went to school with John Otto. He spent his summers in Montreat, North Carolinamarker, working in the sound booth for Montreat conference center, a Presbyterian Church institution. When Limp Bizkit was looking for a guitarist, John Otto threw out his name, stating he was more of an artist than a guitarist, but the band decided he'd be worthwhile for the position. In one of these bands, Borland sang and played guitar but didn't use a guitar pick. He would only play guitar using the two hand tapping style of guitar playing that he would go on to use in Limp Bizkit songs such as "Stalemate", "Sour", "Re-Arranged" and "Indigo Flow".

Fred Durst left to Philadelphia for a short while, leaving the others to speak to Wes and see if he'd join the band. Borland accepted, and the three practiced, while keeping in touch with Durst over the phone. Later Durst came back to Jacksonville, and the band had a show scheduled. Durst and Borland met for the first time and played their first show together 30 minutes later. On stage, Borland was known for his eccentricity, frequently wearing elaborate face paint and black-tinted contact lenses.

In the very early stages of Limp Bizkit, Borland's brother and future Eat the Day bandmate Scott Borland played keyboards, but with the early inclusion of DJ Lethal, the band eventually became a success. Scott played with Limp Bizkit as a session keyboard player on Limp Bizkit's first three releases, until Borland quit in 2001, which is when the two brothers formed Eat the Day.

Leaving Limp Bizkit

On October 12, 2001, Borland left Limp Bizkit because, he claims, the band limited his ability to express himself artistically. Before leaving Bizkit he formed the band Big Dumb Face as an outlet for his creativity. Big Dumb Face has since been put to the side. Borland then started the band Eat the Day with his brother, Scott Borland. Eat The Day was described as heavy and dramatic, with Borland pushing the envelope of his heavy and soft playing within epic, normally over five minute song lengths.

Borland and his brother Scott were initially going to both be the lead vocalists to avoid the stigmas associated with singular frontmen, but both Borlands felt their guitar playing was starting to suffer due to having to contribute vocals at the same time. They first tried fixing this with going through Interscope Records' demos to find a singer, only to find nobody they were satisfied with. During this period of Eat the Day, the band's website released several mp3s with no vocal tracks, asking for interested vocalists to record over the tracks and submit their recordings as an audition to front the band. The songs "Beeblicowcarapis", "dAdA", and "Taste My Gun" were initially released (and still are available via the internet) as their full length selves, but later, Eat the Day only put up the beginning portions of the songs to have vocalists to sing over. This gesture was similar to the Limp Bizkit national guitarist audition after Borland left the band, and proved to be ultimately futile, other than showcasing what the ultimate sound of the project could have become. The members of Eat The Day instead decided to take a small break from the project and focus on other things to see if a vocalist would naturally pop up. Borland also played bass for the band dobmyer for a short time.

During this down period, Borland began production on his solo album with friend and producer Danny Lohner of Nine Inch Nails' fame. He was also featured twice on the Underworld soundtrack: once on a remix version of the A Perfect Circle song "Weak and Powerless" and another time on the song "The Awakening" with a supergroup of sorts called The Damning Well. The group features Wes Borland on guitars, Danny Lohner on bass, Richard Patrick on vocals and Josh Freese on drums. It was also revealed by Borland himself that during this time, he turned down the offer to join A Perfect Circle as the second guitarist alongside band founder/songwriter Billy Howerdel in order to focus on Eat The Day. In fall of 2003, it was announced that Eat The Day had found an unnamed vocalist. It turned out to be Richard Patrick of Filter and Nine Inch Nails fame. With producer Bob Ezrin at the helm, material for Eat The Day and The Damning Well merged, as did the bands, but Patrick had a falling out with the whole camp. This was announced via Eat The Day's website in fall of 2003/early 2004, as did the announcement that Eat The Day and The Damning Well had either split permanently or gone on hiatus. The conclusion of this post stated Borland's beginning stages of creating a new, band driven solo record with Danny Lohner, Josh Freese, Josh Eustis, and John Bates.

In late 2003, Borland co-produced and played guitar on several songs on Legion of Boom, the third studio album by electronic musicians The Crystal Method, released in January 2004. The tracks he worked on were "Broken Glass", "Weapons of Mass Distortion" (also a Japanese bonus track "Weapons of Mad Destruction" featuring Kyono from The Mad Capsule Markets) and the lead single "Born Too Slow". "Born Too Slow" featured former Kyuss frontman John Garcia on vocals.

Rejoining Limp Bizkit

Around August, 2004, Wes Borland rejoined Limp Bizkit. He worked on their latest album, released in the form of an EP concept album, titled The Unquestionable Truth , released on May 3, 2005; produced by Ross Robinson and Limp Bizkit.

Black Light Burns

Borland declared himself a full time member of his new project, Black Light Burns, indicating a second departure from Limp Bizkit. Borland and Danny Lohner also contributed guitar parts and instrumentals to Rob Zombie's album, Educated Horses, only to not have their contributions on the record. In late 2005, Wes played all the bass on the post-hardcore band From First to Last's second full length album Heroine (after bassist Jon Weisberg left the band), with whom he also toured for several tours afterward. He has since left the band as new bassist Matt Manning stepped up to play with From First to last. Borland played all the bass track on the CD, but co wrote a song with the band called "Save Us" which is a B side to the Heroine album that has been recently posted on the bands Myspace.

Black Light Burns is an industrial metal band featuring members of Borland's previous band The Damning Well, with Borland this time on vocals, guitars, bass, keyboards and programming, Danny Lohner on guitar, bass, keyboards, programming (but is sparingly using these instruments on the record, as he is mainly BLB's producer), Josh Eustis (from Telefon Tel Aviv) on programming, keys and Josh Freese on drums. The project evolved from Borland's initial attempts at writing a solo effort, but according to Borland, now includes that solo material, material from Eat The Day, material from The Damning Well, and material from an ambient solo record that Borland wrote during his time in Eat The Day that still remains unreleased. Guests on the album include Carina Round, Limp Bizkit bassist Sam Rivers, From First to Last frontman Sonny Moore, and Johnette Napolitano of Concrete Blonde. Borland announced on February 3, 2007 that Black Light Burns will be signed to the new record label of Ross Robinson called I AM: WOLFPACK. A June 5, 2007 release for the CD was planned, and in the meantime Borland would head to various regions in the Middle East for scheduled guitar clinics for his Yamaha signature guitar, and Black Light Burns would be rehearsing for a tour starting around summer as well.

Borland toured with From First To Last roughly since early 2006. He announced plans for a Fall 2006 tour that never went through due to Black Light Burns needing to find a new record label after Borland left Geffen Records. Borland has discussed plans to write and perform on the next From First To Last album, but he left the band due to Black Light Burns' busy schedule started to pick up, leaving no room for work with From First to Last.

In 2007, Borland appeared on select tracks on Worse Than a Fairy Tale, by Colorado band Drop Dead, Gorgeous. Both artists are on Ross Robinson's I AM:WOLFPACK label.

Black Light Burns' lineup has undergone some changes. As recently as 2008, the band consisted of Borland on vocals/guitar, Nick Annis on guitar/backup vocals, Sean Fetterman on bass/backup vocals, and Marshal Kilpatric on drums. In early 2009, Fetterman left due to reasons undisclosed by the band and was replaced by the band's guitar tech, Dennis "Junior" Sanders.

Fear and The Nervous System

Fear and the Nervous System is an experimental/industrial rock band formed in 2008, consisting of vocalist and guitarist James "Munky" Shaffer of Korn, bassist Billy Gould of Faith No More, drummer Brooks Wackerman of Bad Religion, programmer and guitarist Leopold Ross of Error and IO Echo, and keyboardist and programmer Zac Baird, previously heard on Korn's untitled album and during their live shows. Wes Borland also worked closely with experimental gothic keyboardist Shawn Lowry. Wes Borland contributed on two tracks for the project and also created the artwork for the CD. However in a recent message on the bands Myspace page James Shaffer said that the two tracks Wes contributed to did not make the final cut for the album.

Marilyn Manson

At a press conference in Seoulmarker, South Koreamarker, Marilyn Manson announced that Borland had joined the band as their live guitarist. He played only two shows with Manson, the first at the 2008 ETP Festival in Korea, and the second in Los Angeles for a Hot Topic manager's meeting. Borland left the band after re-uniting with Limp Bizkit in 2009 .

Limp Bizkit reunited

Borland rejoined Limp Bizkit on the 12th of February 2009. The decision came six days after he attacked the bands comeback plans and Durst's songwriting skills; claiming he had more freedom with his current band Black Light Burns.

A statement was released by the band, which said:

Playing style

As Limp Bizkit's guitarist, on their first album, Three Dollar Bill, Yall$, Borland would cover much ground. Some guitar parts were inspired by thrash metal with harmonic usage inspired by industrial music, whereas other parts were meant to sound like strange noises and sounds, some were soft and beautiful jazzy melodies and the songs themselves were somewhat progressive, as there were traditional song-structures mixed with more experimental ideas.

On the subsequent hit record, Significant Other, Borland's playing became slower with increased emphasis on groove and heaviness, with more traditional song structures used. On the third Limp Bizkit release, Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water, Borland's playing became more eclectic, combining the prior elements of heaviness and traditional structure with playing big, complex guitar chords not normally played in metal music before then.

On the The Unquestionable Truth , recorded five years later, featured some of his most aggressive guitar work ever released, using distortion through most of the album and putting all of his trademark effect pedals to rest, instead focusing on heavy riffing, metal tremolo picking and palm mute/release techniques. However, in Black Light Burns, Borland's guitar playing is at its most eclectic. Borland's metal, electronic, jazz, indie rock, soft, progressive influences come through, and the songs take unexpected turns all throughout.

Wes played Ibanez 7 string guitars with Limp Bizkit and later used Paul Reed Smith guitars. He plays a custom 4 string AX series Ibanez on songs "Nookie", "Full Nelson", "The One", and "Stalemate". He tuned his 7 strings to [Low to High] Db Gb B E Ab Db Db and tuned his 4 string to [Low to High] F# F# B E, with the lowest F# string being a bass guitar string, with that lowest F# being one whole octave below the preceding F# string.

Borland told crowds at his guitar clinics in the middle east and Total Guitar magazine that he considers himself more a songwriter/rhythm guitarist than a lead guitarist, saying that he never got into shredder bands or jazz fusion artists. He says his two hand tapping technique was inspired somewhat by Les Claypool of Primus and the rhythmic nature of his bass playing, and not so much from the lead guitar craze of the 1980s. However, he has incorporated lead guitar into his music after leaving Limp Bizkit from time to time.

Personal

He and ex-wife Heather McMillan were married on April 10, 1998 but later divorced. He has been married to his current wife, Anna Borland, since 2006.

Borland is not only known for his live stage costume getups, he has also handled album art during his stint in Limp Bizkit. Likewise, he has provided the album art for both of the Black Light Burns releases. He has been working to get an art gallery open to display his paintings.

Borland established a MySpace account displaying several of his paintings. He has posted ambient musical pieces that were written after the Black Light Burns debut album Cruel Melody was completed.

Equipment

During his time in Limp Bizkit, Borland was endorsed by Ibanez and almost exclusively used their guitars in recordings and live performances. The guitars' piezo system allowed him to change from electric to acoustic sounds with the flick of a switch. After leaving Limp Bizkit, Borland also switched from Ibanez guitars to Yamaha, which are currently marketing a Wes Borland signature guitar called the CV820 WB. He also retired his Roland/Mesa Boogie amplifiers and currently uses Orange Amplifiers in live performances.

Guitars

Current guitars:





Retired guitars:





Effects





Amplifiers

Current amplifiers:





Retired amplifers:





Discography

Year Album
With Limp Bizkit
1997 Three Dollar Bill, Yall$
1999 Significant Other
2000 Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water
2001 New Old Songs (Remix album)
2005 The Unquestionable Truth
Greatest Hitz (Compilation)
2010 Gold Cobra
With Black Light Burns
2007 Cruel Melody
2008 Cover Your Heart and the Anvil Pants Odyssey
2009 2nd Studio Album
With Big Dumb Face
1998 Demo
2001 Big Dumb Metal EP
2001 [[Duke Lion Fights the Terror ]]
With From First to Last
2006 Heroine
With The Color of Violence
2009 Youthanize


References



Notes

  1. http://www.angelfire.com/rock/e4/combichrist.html
  2. http://news.superiorpics.com/2009/02/20/BORLAND_DEFENDS_LIMP_BIZKIT_REUNION.html
  3. http://www.limpbizkit.com/
  4. http://www.angelfire.com/rock/rapcore/equip.htm
  5. http://guitargeek.com/rigview/261/
  6. http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/interviews/interviews/wes_borland_no_rules_exist_in_black_light_burns.html
  7. UberProAudio - Wes Borland Guitar Gear Rig and Equipment



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