There hasn’t been much heard from the Limp Bizkit camp in quite some time, but the group’s ex-guitarist, Wes Borland, will soon change that. On June 5, his new band, Black Light Burns, will release its debut, “Cruel Melody,” which focuses more on Borland’s musical quirks than the heavy rock of Limp Bizkit.
“There are remnants of what I used to do, but there are also new things that I’ve explored that I’m expressing now,” Borland tells Billboard.com. “I would compare my previous work as ‘knuckleheaded and immature,’ and basically sort of really heavy party music. Which is never what I wanted to do. I was really behind [the debut Bizkit album] ‘Three Dollar Bill Y’all,’ and then because of how chaotic it was, was less happy with the music from there on. This is me ‘redirecting’.”
Produced by former Nine Inch Nails member Danny Lohner (who also plays bass), “Cruel Melody” also finds Josh Freese handling drum duties and Josh Eustis playing keyboards, while Borland pulls double duty as lead vocalist. On a forthcoming tour, Borland will be flanked by second guitarist Nick Annis, bassist Sean Fetterman and drummer Marshall Kilpatric (formerly of the Esoteric).
While some tracks will please longtime Bizkit fans (namely “Coward”), many detour off into territory usually occupied by Nine Inch Nails (“Animal”) and Queens Of The Stone Age (“Mesopotamia”). Ex-Concrete Blonde vocalist Johnette Napolitano also makes an appearance on “I Am Where It Takes Me.”
The album will be the first to be issued via Ross Robinson’s new label, I Am: Wolfpack, and Borland couldn’t be happier about his new home. “There’s all these fresh people involved, and it’s literally like I just went to heaven — it’s so easy to make moves now,” he says. “It’s literally like three or four people make a decision together, instead of an endless amount of paperwork.”
Black Light Burns will make its live debut April 30 at the NARM convention, with more dates to follow. The band has also gotten a head start on album number two, having already penned five new tracks for the projected release, to be issued next year.
And for those still wondering, what are the chances of Borland playing beside Fred Durst once more? “You can never tell what’s going to happen, because life is very up-and-down and interesting — it throws new things my way all the time,” he admits. “So you can never say ‘never’ to anything, but I seriously doubt it. Black Light Burns to me is like going out with the hottest girl in school. Why would I want to go back to going out with someone who’s not very good looking to me and restricts me from doing anything? It’s like, ‘Wow, this is so awesome and easy.’ Why would I want to go back to something so hard and painful for me?”