Interview: Wes Borland on the Forthcoming Limp Bizkit and Black Light Burn Albums
By Jon Wiederhorn
As the biggest, if only, rock band on hip-hop label Cash Money Records (Lil Wayne, Nicki Minaj, Drake), rap-metal trailblazers Limp Bizkit are taking advantage of their bosses’ resources to freshen up their sound on their upcoming seventh album. The band has the skeletons for 14 songs and are working in Miami with producer DetaiL to add some extra bling to the bang.
“We’re going two different directions right now,” says guitarist Wes Borland. “One direction is very heavy like our last album Gold Cobra, but with me pushing the riffs further than they were before. But we’re also working on hip-hop club tracks that have guitar and Fred [Durst, vocals] on them. We’re coming from two very different places on this and right now they’re starting to cross over into each other, which is exciting. We don’t want to make Gold Cobra II.”
While past Bizkit records have been recorded in a fairly traditional manner, the band is taking a more free-form and experimental approach these days, writing on the spot and recording in spurts. “We’ve had a lot of little scattered sessions and we’re firing out ideas into the darkness and seeing what sticks and what starts to form and become something new,” Borland says. “I’ve gotten really intense about writing snappy, complicated riffs that have a lot of dive bomb-type whammy bar push-and-pull suction sound in them. It’s too soon to tell where we’re going with it all. We’re not at the point where everything flows or makes sense, but we’ll know when we get there.”
In addition to working with DetaiL, Limp Bizkit wrote a song with rap superstar Lil Wayne. However, the track was recorded before the band was off its old label Interscope so it’s unclear what will happen to the tune. “It came out great and I love it,” Borland says. “But right now it’s just sitting on a shelf collecting dust. I certainly hope it comes out, but I can’t be sure.”
The follow-up to Gold Cobra doesn’t have a release date yet, but Limp Bizkit plan to launch a major U.S. tour in October with Borland’s side project Black Light Burns opening the show. The band’s second album, The Moment You Realize You’re Going to Fall, the follow-up to 2007’s Cruel Melody, comes out August 14.
“I wanted to take the cleanliness of Cruel Melody out and make us sound more like a band,” Borland says. “I also wanted to go lighter on the electronic elements and try to recreate synth-type sounds with guitar.”
Borland, who recorded the new Black Light Burns album in his home studio, also wanted the music to sound more raw, impulsive, and experimental than its predecessor. “It’s noisy and wild and organic,” he says. “I tried to leave a lot of mistakes in there and also do a lot of circuit-bending, where you take children’s keyboards and wire in a bunch of new electronics that distort and warp the sound. They’re incredibly unpredictable and you can get nasty noises out of them. I used a lot of them to create dirty-sounding soundscapes. I also tried to do as many vocals as I could in one take so you can hear me running out of breath. It adds a type of urgency that we didn’t have on the first record.”