Limp Bizkit's guitarist, Wes Borland, is most noticed for his stage performance with weird costumes, face paint and black-colored contact lenses. Listed as the "best mental guitar player" by Guitar World Magazine, Borland was also the vocalist and guitarist for the band Big Dumb Face.
"I almost shouldn't be in Limp Bizkit. It's like I got matched in the factory with the wrong band." Wes Borland
Saying that Limp Bizkit has limited his artistic expression, Borland left the band in 2001. However, the band could not find a matching replacement and they asked Borland to rejoin them. In late 2004, Borland officially returned to Limp Bizkit. He currently also plays bass for post-hardcore band From First to Last.
High School Freak
Childhood and Family:
Wesley Louden Borland, who would later be known as Wes Borland, was born on February 8, 1975, to Presbyterian minister and nursery school teacher Tom and Sally Borland. His only brother is musician Scott Borland (born on February 14, 1979), a member of bands Vanilla Ice, Big Dumb Face, and Eat the Day. Born in Richmond, Virginia, Wes spent five years (1985-1990) in Nashville, Tennessee.
His family moved to Jacksonville and Wes studied art at Hillsboro High School. For Wes, high school was the worst time of his life. He was beaten up, mocked and referred to as "Freak."
Originally having the desire to play the drums, 12-year-old Wes got a guitar instead. Tutored by two instructors specialized in rock, blues, country, and classical, Wes continued to study jazz for three years in college.
On April 10, 1998, Wes tied the knot with girlfriend Heather McMillan. They spent their honeymoon in various theme parks across America. The couple currently lives in Los Angeles, California's Greffith Park, together with brother Scott.
For years Wes suffered from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and was treated with the drug Dexadrine. About the medicine, he commented, "It's a narcotic. It's basically like I was on speed for six years. I found out later on that one of the side effects is dry mouth. So I've had to have five root canals, just from being on that. Every single tooth in my mouth had to get a filling."
Wes quit smoking and taking Dexadrine in 1999.
"I like anything that's really mindless and retarded." Wes Borland
17-year-old Wes Borland began his music career by joining several bands, including Pythis and Krank (with brother Scott). While in high school, Wes, his brother, and friends Kyle Weeks and Greg Isabelle, formed a band called Goatslayer, which later became Big Dumb Face. On his early band, Wes revealed, "Ever since we were very young, we always stayed up late at night and drank or smoked pot in my bedroom. And we would do Goatslayer. That's what we called it. The three of us would bring keyboards and guitars and make up all sorts of dumb songs. Big Dumb Face got started when I moved away and couldn't do Goatslayer anymore. Big Dumb Face is kind of a more put-together Goatslayer that I do by myself."
While working as a bartender in a café in Florida, Wes met Limp Bizkit's original members. Impressed by his guitar talent, Limp Bizkit's head, Fred Dust, offered Wes an audition. Wes was 18 year old when he finally got the job and joined with other band members, John Otto, Sam Rivers, and late arrival DJ Lethal.
Wes befriended KoRn band members, who eventually assisted Limp Bizkit in winning a recording contract with KoRn's producer Ross Robinson. Soon, Limp Bizkit performed in such tours as the Family Values Tour, House of Pain and the Deftones.
The thriving tours landed them several label contracts. With Flip/Interscope recording company, Limp Bizkit introduced their first album, Three Dollar Bill Y'All (1997). As their name continued to rise, the band fulfilled their fans' demand by more tours like Faith No More and Primus, as well as their performance on the MTV's Spring Break '98 fashion show.
In June 1999, Borland and his band released their sophomore CD, Significant Other, which instantly launched their name. Unfortunately, the band spotted controversy in their Woodstock performance in 1999. They were greatly criticized for the chaos associated with the performance.
On October 12th, 2001, Wes Borland left Limp Bizkit. He departed after the release of the band's albums, Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water (October 2000) and Rollin' (Urban Assault Vehicle, September 2001). While not joining Limp Bizkit, Borland performed with his brother Scott in the band Big Dumb Face, which later turned into Eat the Day, as the output of his creativity and talent. Wes said, "I wanted to see how much I could get away with."
Meanwhile, Limp Bizkit suffered while trying to find a replacement for Borland. The band's DJ Lethal said, "It wasn't the same as the demos I heard. I was like, man, we gotta get Wes back!" As a result, Limp Bizkit front man Fred Durst asked Borland to rejoin the band. After several rejections of the offer, Borland finally decided to return to Limp Bizkit in August 2004.
"I wasn't ready to go yet. I think I had some personal issues to resolve before I went, you know, off and became a (stutters hesitantly) r-r-rock star." Wes Borland
With Wes Borland reunited with the band, Limp Bizkit released their next albums, The Unquestionable Truth (May 2005) and Greatest Hitz (November 2005). As a member of From First To Last, Borland has been touring with them roughly since early 2006.
- MTV Video Music Awards: Rollin, 2001
- BMI Pop Awards: 2001