After an absence of more than 15 years, Wes Borland has resurrected his Big Dumb Face project for their second album Where Is Duke Lion? He’s Dead…. It’s just another string to the bow of the man who found fame, fortune and facepaint as Limp Bizkit’s bizarro guitarist. We caught up with Wes to chat about his new record, the state of metal today and the future of Limp Bizkit.
This is the first Big Dumb Face album for 16 years. Why bring it back now?
“I wanted to do something with that project again, but was going through a lot of years in my life where I didn’t feel that ‘funny’. I wanted to re-approach the project by doing it as a videogame. I actually started storyboarding a whole videogame and wrote the whole thing. My agent started reaching out to videogame companies and they hooked me up with a bunch of people who were all like, ‘We love this, it’s just an indie game, so you’re going to need an investor to spend a million dollars on this. You’ll never Kickstart that much and shouldn’t spend your own money on it.’ So I was like, ‘I’m not doing that then.’ So I thought about the main character from the first record, Duke Lion. I think about him from time to time: ‘What would he be doing now?’ And the answer is… he’s dead! Then the story of that came into my head and I thought I should tell it.”
The scene has changed a lot since Big Dumb Face were around. Have you been keeping up with metal over the years?
“No, I’m not interested at all. I like Gorgoroth and black metal, and I don’t think anyone has taken it in a place that I want to see it go beyond where Death and Carcass had it in the 90s. It’s just boring to me. Every time I hear a new metal band, I’m just like, ‘No, thanks.’ I try to do the opposite of whatever is going on in metal, because metal takes itself so fucking seriously and that’s just so dumb. Unless you’re Gaahl, don’t try. Or Watain – I like Watain a lot!”
Is that how you think Limp Bizkit’s stayed popular? By not being as hyper-serious as other bands?
“I don’t think the band’s popular now, ha ha! Is it? We haven’t been active enough for my tastes. I really wish we were doing more and I think we will be next year. There might be some stuff going on. I think the reason that we can still go out and play shows is the devaluing of music and that the whole entire music industry is in such misery and oversaturated. Everybody’s got a band now but nobody’s making any money off of it.”
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What are those plans that Limp Bizkit has for next year?
“I have no idea. I’m not the boss of Limp Bizkit, Fred [Durst] is. But I think he’s working right now. Will he be done by next year? Who knows? I don’t know! I’ve been wanting to work on it, I’m ready to work on it anytime, but it depends on what his plan is. There’s no problem with that and we’re great friends, but I can only control what I control.”
If Limp Bizkit was starting up in today’s music industry, do you think you’d still be successful?
“We wouldn’t be a band, no fucking way! It was totally based on timing. All the things that had to happen for us to be a band, like Fred calling people up saying he was the manager or us walking out of the Interscope offices saying, ‘Fuck you, we’re not waiting for Jimmy Iovine’ only for him to run out and get us, it all added up. There were bands that were way better songwriters than we were – we just had a bunch of stuff that aligned at the same time.”
Big Dumb Face’s new album Where Is Duke Lion? He’s Dead… is out now, via Edison Sound.