Take a look around, because Limp Bizkit’s Wes Borland is even more of an innovative musician than you realize

Whether it’s his eccentric stage outfits and masks, his numerous side projects, or his iconic guitar tone and riffs in Limp Bizkit, Wes Borland is one of rock and metal’s most gifted musicians. Few musicians can claim they worked with the likes of From First To Last AND remixed songs from bands like Underoath, along with selling millions upon millions of records and even scoring Grammy nominations. Then again, Borland is a true unicorn.

Gaining massive fame as Limp Bizkit rose to infamy with their 1997 debut album, Borland’s stage persona has interestingly made him a very visible presence – as well as being quite an underrated one, to be honest. Growing up in a religious household that stifled his creativity, his move from Tennessee (a country music hotbed) to Jacksonville, Florida eventually helped Borland experience freedom. Learning jazz styles from a teacher who ingrained in him the ability to learn by ear, what Borland brings to Limp Bizkit is innately special. Interestingly, he utilizes tenor guitars as well, which have 4 strings instead of 6.

Undoubtedly, Borland’s most recognizable work has been with Limp Bizkit. Considering the popularity the band still has after all these years, you really shouldn’t be all that surprised by this statement. Delivering some of the most iconic riffs in all of nu-metal (“Break Stuff”, “Take A Look Around”, “Counterfeit”, any number of others), Borland doesn’t just rely on heavy riffs to bludgeon the listener. In fact, Borland often opts for a less-is-more approach on songs like “Take A Look Around”, providing a more textural approach instead of a front and center one. In particular, lengthier Limp Bizkit tracks like “Walking Away” and “Boiler” are made specifically for this approach, and it’s also not a surprise that the band’s Tool influences stick out on these lengthier tracks as well, with his more spacey and ambient influences coming to the forefront. Subtlety is important.

Beyond just Limp Bizkit, though, Borland’s also known for a few side projects, including experimental outfit Big Dumb Face and especially Black Light Burns. Notably, he fronts the latter as well as plays many of the instruments. A more experimental and industrial rock approach and working with the likes of Danny Lohner and Josh Freese, the record even featured From First To Last’s Sonny Moore – you know, that guy who also is known as Skrillex. Notable, really. It’s also a chance for Borland to flourish with more of his eccentric ideas that wouldn’t be ideal for Limp Bizkit. He even has a prominent career doing remixes for other bands, like The Word Alive, Underoath, and even A Perfect Circle’s “Weak And Powerless”.

Borland’s talent is such that even the biggest of Limp Bizkit’s detractors are forced to acknowledge his obvious musical talent (and penchant for elaborate visual art as well). With an innovative and distinct style of playing as well as a diverse array of talents (did you know he could sing before this article?), Wes Borland deserves a much higher place in the pantheon of great guitarists. His percussive style undoubtedly helped Limp Bizkit cement themselves as one of the most successful bands in rock and metal history, and you can underestimate Borland at your own risk.

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