Wes Borland Talks New Black Light Burns Album
Wes Borland might be one of the most mysterious guitarists around. Just when you think you’ve got your head wrapped around his style, he goes and does something you never could have expected. With his band Black Light Burns‘ latest album, ‘The Moment You Realize You’re Going to Fall,’ Borland takes his music – and fans – to a whole new level of musical experimentation.
In part one of our interview with the axeman, Borland, who also mans the axe for Limp Bizkit, gives us the full download on all things Black Light Burns, including what to expect from their latest album and when fans will be able to catch them on the road.
Since Black Light Burns’ creation, it seems like there is really no complacency with your music. Progression feels like a natural thing for you. What can fans expect from ‘The Moment You Realize You’re Going to Fall?’
I’ll just tell you what my goal with the new record was. I felt the first record, ‘Cruel Melody,’ was a little too clean sounding. It was too produced and clean. I was learning how to sing on that record. Danny Lohner, who was producing that album, really coached me through the process of recording vocals, being a singer, you know, trying to sing on pitch. What I wanted for the new record was to have it sound very live. When I did the first record, the songs grew during the live shows into these more intense versions of themselves. So that’s what I wanted these new songs to be right away on the record, to be that intense. I think the new record is a lot more nitty gritty. It’s much higher in intensity than the first record was.
I can’t quite pinpoint the sound on the record. Sometimes it sounds like Nine Inch Nails, sometimes it sounds like Marilyn Manson, other times it even has the vibe and intensity of System of a Down. But, most of the time, it sounds like nothing I’ve ever heard before. I know it’s a bit of a loaded question, but if you had to give Black Light Burns’ sound a name, what would you call it?
I don’t know. There are a lot of punk rock influences, there are a lot of more experimental influences, a lot of influences from bands that are more instrumental. There are also influences from the Strokes and Yeah Yeah Yeahs. What I do is I try to listen to as many different kinds of genres as possible and explore as much music as I can so that when I make a record and put it all together, I’m hopefully creating one unified sound that has a lot of different dynamics and dimensions that sound cohesive. [Laughs] I don’t know how to describe the sound because it’s influenced by so many different things. If I had to go across my iTunes window and give it a label, I guess I’d just put rock. [Laughs] I don’t know, man.
Can you give fans a glimpse into what’s in store for the music video for ‘How To Look Naked?’
The new video is going to be a lot of information. There are going to be a lot of things that can’t be shown on YouTube. I think it’s going to be pretty much restricted to Vimeo. We’re making a video that is never going to be serviced to a music video channel. Ever. I think people will get a kick out of it. There are going to be a lot of things to see. Some might be disturbing, some might be exhilarating. It’s definitely going to be a feast of information.
Will you be hitting the road soon in support of the new album?
Yeah, we’re going to be doing about three weeks in September in the western half of the United States. We’re hoping to follow that up with a run in the eastern half later in the year. Then we’re doing dates in Europe at the beginning of 2013.
You’re obviously known for your time with Limp Bizkit. Do you consider Black Light Burns a side project?
It’s just another band. I mean, it definitely takes a side seat to the amount of work that I’m doing with Limp Bizkit, and Limp Bizkit is definitely paying the bills. Black Light Burns is just more bills. [Laughs] Black Light doesn’t pay the bills, it makes new bills that need to be paid. So in that way, financially, it’s definitely a side project. But that doesn’t mean I put any less effort into Black Light than I do with Bizkit. In fact, it’s a lot more effort. What I do in Bizkit is a collaboration with a lot of different people, people I’ve been working with for a long time.
It’s very easy to have a flow with them and to have musical ESP with them when we write. We know what the others are going to do, we know what to expect. That transfers into touring, too. Touring is very easy for us. We don’t play many shows back-to-back when we’re out. But with Black Light, there is no crew and we’re on a shoestring budget. We’ve got a van and a trailer, I do all the driving. We hardly have any days off. When making the record, I have to figure out where the money is going to come from to pay for stuff. It’s very insane. I really love it, and that’s why I do it. I love it. I’m not doing it for any other reason. I need to do it, I feel compelled to do it.
Watch Black Light Burns’ Teaser Music Video For ‘How To Look Naked’
Black Light Burns’ latest album, ‘The Moment You Realize You’re Going to Fail’ is available now on iTunes. Stay tuned for the second part of our interview with Wes Borland as he opens up about Limp Bizkit. He discusses the progress on their new album, where things currently stand with DJ Lethal and more.