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We Spoke To Wes Borland About The New Big Dumb Face Album

The Limp Bizkit guitarist spoke at length about recording his side project’s new album, Where Is Duke Lion? He’s Dead…, the follow-up to 2001’s Duke Lion Fights The Terror!!.

It’s been a long time coming, but Limp Bizkit guitarist Wes Borland is finally putting out a new Big Dumb Face record. Where Is Duke Lion? He’s Dead… is set for release on 31 October via Edison Sound and is BDF’s first full-length release since 2001’s Duke Lion Fights The Terror!!. As a taster of what you can expect, he’s put out a single from the record called He Rides The Skies, which you can hear below.

Snobbier readers might scoff at anything a Limp Bizkit alumni might produce, but make no mistake, this is a cool project. Wes Borland’s tastes have famously always been a lot wilder than his more straightforward nu-metal output might suggest, and WIDL?HD is a record that features all manner of musical eccentricity - electronic noise, death metal, Aphex-worship, steel pan samples, grindcore and all kinds of other stuff can be heard on it. Whipping The Hodeus, for instance, the last track on the album, is an eighteen-minute freak-out that veers from southern country ballad, cinematic soundscape through to disco funk, and finally, grindcore. Like the rest of the record, it’s a lot to take in, but it’s a lot of fun. 

We called up Wes to talk about the album because we’re the greatest rock magazine in the world and we’ve got the hook-ups. He told us some cool things, which you can read right here:

Hi Wes! The last BDF album was 16 years ago, how long have you been collecting songs for this new record?
I had one song written in 2001 and another written in 2003, and they had been sitting around for years with no plans to do anything else with Big Dumb Face again. I actually developed a video game I was pitching, instead of putting out a second Big Dumb Face record. I was going to companies and I’d storyboarded the whole thing, and the idea was it would be the sequel to that record. Everybody was like this is awesome, but it would be an indie game, and if you’re not a programmer it’s going to cost you over a million dollars to get this made. And I went well, fuck this! I’m not doing that. I wasn’t going to spend my own money on it or do a Kickstarter thing. 

Lately I’ve found myself into stuff I said I’d never do again. I basically started [asking myself] what would be funny? Well, to do another Big Dumb Face record for absolutely no reason! And I’ll kill the main character! Which is what I did, so it’s called Where Is Duke Lion? He’s Dead. All the bad guys on the first record won, they killed him, and I’m sorry to tell you he’s really dead, that’s it! 

It’s the most metal record I’ve ever made, it’s heavier than any Bizkit record, and I have blisters on my fingers from guitar soloing, because I haven’t played that way in a long time. It’s fucking fast, and it’s funny, with a lot of jokes on it, but there’s no joking about the metal, at all. It’s taking a little bit of the piss out of metal, but also worshipping it at the same time.

He Rides The Skies

That sounds like it was a lot of fun.
Yeah. Aside from those two older songs everything else was done in five and a half weeks, from the first note to the last mix. I put out a solo record called Crystal Machete a year and a half ago, and I did that one in five weeks, and I’ve realised that spending more than five weeks on a record means you enter the danger zone. After that point I’m going to get tired, or not sound cohesive or start overthinking things, and so it has to happen in that window. It’ll all happen in a burst and then I’m done, and I get instant gratification at the same time as being okay if there are any mistakes or anything I missed.

Did you play everything yourself?
I played everything except for the two older songs with my brother, and we had the guy who played drums for Big Dumb Face on the road come in and play on one song, instead of having all the drums programmed and cranking the pitch up on the bass drum so it sounds like coins on the beaters. I was talking to Limb Bizkit’s band assistant, who’s a huge metal fan, and I gave him the record and he called me back and said [he didn’t] know any drummer that would to be able to play this live. And I said well, I’m not going to be playing it live, so it doesn’t matter.

No shows at all? 
Nope. All I’m doing right now is making records and putting them out one after the other. The only things that kept me from putting records out in vast quantities over the past however many years are my mixing wasn’t up to par so I had to send them to someone else for that, and I’d worry, thinking fuck, if I’m making a record I’m going to have to do a tour too. Then I realised I don’t have to do that! I can just put a record out, and if there’s a demand for the tour maybe I’ll see what I can do, but I’m not going to push to make that happen.

We’re obliged to ask: any Limp Bizkit stuff in the works?
No, not that I know.

But you’re in touch with the others?
Yeah, I talk to them all the time. There’s a lot happening, but whether any of it will see the light of day, who knows? Hopefully it will, all I know is I have my own records out and I can’t speak for them, so you’ll probably know about it the same time I do. When I’m not completely in control of something I can’t vouch for it, so I’m not the guy to ask.

Thanks for talking to us Wes!

Pre-order WIDL?HD here.

Posted on October 13th 2017, 5:49pm
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