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. Before this, Borland was "embarrassing myself in bars, playing really weird music that wasn't...good", as he later said in an interview with From First to Last. 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", and "Re-Arranged". Fred Durst left to Philadelphia, leaving the others to speak to Wes and see if he'd join the band.
Wes accepted, and the three practiced, while keeping in touch with Fred over the phone. Later Fred came back to Jacksonville, and the band had a show scheduled. Fred and Wes met for the first time and played their first show together 30 minutes later. When Limp Bizkit played locally in Jacksonville, Wes would dress up as a girl, wearing tight pink clothes and putting his hair in ponytails.
Certain people in the audience of these shows found Wes attractive from a distance, but once they got closer to the stage and realized it was Wes, were quite embarrassed. Wes dressing up as a girl greatly angered frontman Fred Durst. Before Limp Bizkit signed their first record deal, Wes left the band for a period of time. Wes had forgotten to take pills prescribed for his ADHD, which caused him to lash out against his fellow band members. Ultimately it was mutually agreed that he should leave the band.
Fred Durst wanted to continue on without him. However soon after the band realized how instrumental he was to the band, they begged Wes to come back and he eventually did. In the very early stages of Limp Bizkit, Wes'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 huge success. Scott played with Limp Bizkit as a session keyboard player on Limp Bizkit's first three releases, until Wes quit in 2001. On stage, Borland was known for his eccentricity, frequently wearing elaborate face paint and black-tinted contact lenses. In an October 2000 interview with Guitar World Magazine, when asked, "What's with the face paint, contacts, and all the smoke and mirrors? You seem really out of place in your band" Wes replied - off the record - with "I'm ashamed of the band I play in, so I have to assume an alternate identity when I'm with them." As far as his role as Limp Bizkit's guitarist, on Limp Bizkit's first CD, Three Dollar Bill, Y'all, Borland would cover much ground.
Some guitar parts were inspired by Thrash Metal with harmonic usage inspired by Industrial music, whereas some other guitar 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 October 12, 2001, Borland left Limp Bizkit because, he claims, the band limited his ability to express himself artistically. There were also rumours that Wes believed the band had become a "sell-out" band, and were becoming too popular for their own good.
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.
Wes and his brother Scott initially were going to both be the lead vocalists to avoid the stigmas ascociated 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. 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. During this down period, Wes also 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 legendary 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 Wes' beginning stages of creating a new, band driven solo record with Danny Lohner, Josh Freese, Josh Eustis, and John Bates. At some point in 2004 as well, Borland was reportedly offered to join Nine Inch Nails as the band's guitarist, replacing Robin Finck who left Nine Inch Nails yet again for Guns N' Roses. Borland stated he wrote some material with Trent Reznor, but that the material is still unreleased. It is possible that this is due to the fact that he turned down the offer to officially join Nine Inch Nails to rejoin Limp Bizkit but isn't confirmed by either Borland or the Nine Inch Nails crew. In late 2003, Wes 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" and the lead single "Born Too Slow". Born Too Slow also featured former Kyuss frontman John Garcia on vocals. In August 2004 or around, Wes Borland rejoined Limp Bizkit. Borland reportedly had to see for himself if he still was at odds with Limp Bizkit frontman Fred Durst before he officially joined Nine Inch Nails as the guitarist. They met one day and realized that they weren't at odds with each other anymore, so Borland turned down the invitation to join Nine Inch Nails without friction from Trent Reznor, and Wes began writing with Limp Bizkit again.
He worked on the their latest album, but the only material released from these sessions in Prague was in the form of an EP, titled The Unquestionable Truth (Part 1), released on May 3, 2005. Ross Robinson, infamous producer of Limp Bizkit, Korn, Sepultura and others, was brought in to produce. However, relations between Borland and the other members of Limp Bizkit became strained again after drummer John Otto began having drug issues while recording Limp Bizkit material in Prague in late 2004, as documented in the video material included on The Unquestionable Truth (Part 1). Limp Bizkit did make plans to tour behind the EP and to release more material from those sessions in the form of The Unquestionable Truth (Part 2). None of the tour plans materialized, with Borland citing the reason of "nobody (else) wants to tour", and that Limp Bizkit had possibly broken up during this time.
However, after an uncharacteristically long time off from the band to do cinema work (that was so long it led Borland to believe that Durst was done with Limp Bizkit) and the rest of the members dispersing to be involved in other projects, Fred Durst came back and began posting on Limp Bizkit's MySpace page, much in the same fashion that Wes was posting on the myspace of his then new band, Black Light Burns. Among other things, Durst accused Borland of "abandoning" drummer John Otto in his "time of need", and elaborated on the other Limp Bizkit members' year-old decision to have Wes kicked out of Limp Bizkit again. This was a surprise to not only the Limp Bizkit fanbase but Borland himself as they neglected to tell him of the decision, so he kept planning his time around the never to be materialized plans of Limp Bizkit's tour for a year before this occurred. Durst also stated that the band's upcoming release, The Unquestionable Truth (Part 2) will be released with Borland's guitar playing on certain songs that they recorded in Prague and the full length disc will be dedicated to him.
Borland responded to Durst' massive MySpace post simply stating the slanderous nature of the remarks, and leaving it at that. Wes has since declared himself a full time member of his new project, Black Light Burns. 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 fall of 2005, Wes played all the bass on the hardcore band From First to Last's second full length album "Heroine" (after bassist Jon Weisberg left the band), with whom he is also touring. Borland has since become very close with the band and plans to continute writing and touring with them.
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 is still unreleased. Borland's latest project Black Light Burns is an industrial/gothic/alternative 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, Keys, Programming (but is sparingly using these instruments on the record, as he is mainly BLB's producer), Josh Eustis 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. He disclosed this crucial piece of information in a podcast he did for On the Pulse. The initial plans of their record release was posted on their MySpace page: "Final tracking is almost complete on the debut album and the band plans on releasing during the first quarter of 2006 with a world tour to follow." All guests on the album are confirmed to include Carina Round, Limp Bizkit bassist Sam Rivers, From First to Last frontman Sonny Moore, and Johnette Napolitano of Concrete Blonde.
Sam Rivers has recently disclosed his displeasure of contributing to the Black Light Burns track titled "I Have A Need" because of Borland's falling out with the Limp Bizkit camp. However, their then record label, Geffen Records, went through a personnel change and didn't bother returning Borland's phone calls, so both parties split. Borland announced on February 3rd, 2007 that Black Light Burns will be signed to the new record label of Ross Robinson called I AM: WOLFPACK. A May 22nd, 2007 release for the CD is planned, and in the meantime Borland will head to various regions in the Middle East for scheduled guitar clinics for his Yamaha signature guitar, and BLB will be rehearsing for a tour starting around summer as well. Wes has been touring with From First to Last roughly since early 2006.
Wes announced plans for a fall 2006 BLB/FFTL tour that never went through due to Black Light Burns needing to find a new record label after Borland wanted off of Geffed Records due to their not giving BLB any focus or attention. Borland has also discussed plans to write and perform on the next From First To Last album. Borland is also a renowned and respected visual artist. Other than his live stage gimmicks, ranging from bunny costumes to elaborate paint designs. He is putting selected paintings of his up for viewing at Marilyn Manson's art gallery.
He opened up a myspace displaying several paintings of his at www.myspace.com/wesleyborland, as well as posted ambient musical pieces that are "more even more recent than the BLB stuff is", according to Borland himself. The original line-up of Fred Durst, Wes Borland, Sam Rivers, John Otto, and DJ Lethal are back from an eight year hiatus to bring their world back to ours. Fred Durst and Wes Borland said in a joint statement: "We decided we were more disgusted and bored with the state of heavy popular music than we were with each other. Regardless of where our separate paths have taken us, we recognize there is a powerful and unique energy with this particular group of people we have not found anywhere else. This is why Limp Bizkit is back." The guys will kick off a world tour in the Spring on the overseas festival circuit with headline shows sprinkled in throughout Eastern Europe and Europe, selected dates include, in late May, Russia, Ukraine, and the Baltic countries where Limp Bizkit has never played before despite huge demand, along with major festivals like Rock Am Ring and Rock Im Park in Germany, more dates to be announced shortly.
A new album, which would be the original group’s first full-length effort since 2000, is also planned. Limp Bizkit’s first three albums have sold over 20 million copies in the U.S. alone, and another 13 million in the rest of the world. Read more on Last.fm.
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