The mighty Wes Borland, most famous for his day job in Limp Bizkit, came to the UK with his other band, Black Light Burns a couple of weeks ago. Punktastic went down to the Black Heart in Camden for a chat with Wes before BLB’s show in the Underworld. We talked live shows, juggling bands and insanely high productivity levels.
ARE YOU EXCITED FOR THE SHOW TONIGHT?
I am! This is the biggest one of the tour, so we’re really excited about it. It’s the last one until we go to Russia. The UK tour’s been great. The whole thing’s been snowballing and the crowds have been getting bigger and bigger and bigger, so we’re really excited about it.
HOW DO YOU FIND TOURING WITH BLACK LIGHT BURNS? IT MUST BE QUITE DIFFERENT FROM TOURING WITH LIMP BIZKIT. DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE?
No, I think it works, because as soon as I’m sick of one I’ve got the other to go to. Black Light Burns is really demanding as far as the amount of jobs I have, like we’re the crew, we drive a lot of the time, we load the trailer and we even sell the merch sometimes. It ends up meaning a lot because we’re putting so much into it. I guess if I were to build this table I would care about it a lot more than if it was built for me. And with Bizkit, it’s like a house that’s already been built because we already went through the years of constructing that, so when I go back to that I don’t have to work as much. I can concentrate on stage costumes and things like that. They both have their own sort of reward, and as soon as I’m finished with one I’ve got a lot of new ideas for the other, so it’s cool to have both.
DO YOU DO ALL THE ARTWORK FOR BLACK LIGHT BURNS AS WELL?
Yeah, it’s all oil paintings. My art partner does anything that’s camera-oriented, but anything that’s painting or drawing-oriented, I do. I’m interested in a lot of things and I try and pursue all of them.
WHAT DO YOU PLAY LIVE? IS IT A MIXTURE OF ALL THE ALBUMS?
Live, it’s kind of mixed up between the two major albums, which are ‘Cruel Melody’ and ‘The Moment You Realize You’re Going To Fall’. It’s about half and half and then a little bit of ‘Cover Your Heart’, which is our covers album, and a couple of the more poppy songs off ‘Lotus Island’. We try to include everything. We play for about an hour and forty minutes. It’s a long show! We usually play until they throw us off.
ARE THERE COSTUMES?
We dress quite smart, with suits and a lot of black, as opposed to how I dress for Bizkit. Two completely different things. Two characters.
I HEARD THERE’S AN INTERESTING STORY BEHIND HOW YOU MET YOUR BAND…
We met our drummer on YouTube. Our old drummer couldn’t be in the band anymore and I was like, ‘I need a new drummer’, and boom! YouTube! Like the first guy that came up. I contacted him via Twitter and he’s been in the band for seven or eight months now. He was doing drum covers on YouTube and he was doing some hip hop stuff and some dubstep and some metal. He’s doing all these different genres so right away I can see that he can do anything we throw at him. It’s really a sort of inspiring story that we tell other up and coming musicians: you can do it yourself, you can promote yourself. You’ve got all these opportunities to do it yourself. Don’t wait on someone to discover you. Discover yourself, put yourself out there. Then Nick, our guitar player, I’ve known for a really long time, since the beginning. Dennis, our bass player, is our second bass player. He’s way better than our first one was, and he’s super important to the band. It’s actually like a band now. It started as a solo thing and now it’s a band.
DO YOU THINK YOU’LL FOCUS YOUR TIME HALF AND HALF BETWEEN THE TWO BANDS?
I’m gonna try. Bizkit is my priority because there’s a lot more people involved and it’s a lot more of a huge machine, but with Black Light Burns, I’m starting to get pretty comfortable with fitting it in when I can. Fred (Durst) is being really cool like, ‘Ok, you need this time off to do it? Great’, so it’s starting to get kind of smooth juggling the two bands.
AFTER THIS SHOW, WHAT HAVE YOU GOT COMING UP?
After this show I’m off for a few days and then we fly to Russia and do three shows there and then go back to LA and then start on major record number three, because we kind of do a record, then a record 1.5, a second record, and then ‘Lotus Island’’s like 2.5, and then we’ll do another major record that’s not as experimental and more like an album.
WHAT HAVE YOU GOT IN MIND FOR IT?
We’re gonna start by recording a bunch of crazy drum ideas. We’ll start with drums, and I’ve already started two or three demos. I don’t think it’s gonna be as heavy as our other records. It’s gonna be, I wanna say pop-based. Not poppy but not overly experimental. I’m not sure exactly what it’s gonna be. There’s a lot of new music that I’ve been listening to that has been really inspiring. It’s gonna be a cool record. We’re aiming to have it ready by fall.
YOUR PRODUCTIVITY LEVELS ARE SO HIGH!
They have to be, these days. People’s attention spans are that short so you have to hammer it.
WELL YOU MANAGE TO KEEP PEOPLE’S ATTENTION FOR AN HOUR AND FORTY MINUTES ONSTAGE. THAT’S PRETTY IMPRESSIVE.
It flies by, for me. Last night we got cut off early and we played one hour fifteen and it felt like we played four songs. It’s gonna be a good show tonight.