2007-12-24 | Katarzyna NINa Górnisiewicz
dugoutTX: First and foremost, thanks for taking the time to do this for us. Your tracks have been on high rotation in my player since I grabbed it at your show at the Scout Bar in Clear Lake, TX when you passed thru in June. I watched your interview with Dave Navarro recently on SpreadEntertainmentTV and was pleased to see a look of creative confidence and freedom. Seems like, from what I can gether, we are watching your Renaissance period unfold. A beautiful thing to witness in my opinion. I found your candid answer about the input Danny Lohner had on your growth as a lead singer unfolded very insightful. The rapid evolution is amazing by the way. Do you consider Black Light Burns a project that you have been toying with for many years or was it more spontaneous with the collaboration with your studio lineup of heavy hitters?
Wes Borland: Thanks for all the kind words. The writing process for the project was mostly done in my home studio while working alone. The "meat and potatoes", so to speak of the album. The second stage in the writing process was getting these "skeletons", for the most part, of songs hashed out at Danny's house with the other guys giving their input, and it was at that point that the album actually started to shape itself into Cruel Melody.
dugoutTX: Everything just seems to fit together well as a package of songs as a whole. The ebb and flow of the tracklist is also a pleasant and refreshing bonus. Not sure I would label it a "concept album" but it isn't as easy to skip around on as many of its brethren. Do the recurring themes of the tunes have any intentional interconnectivity?
Wes Borland: I'm pretty much always writing, so I think this album is basically just a snap shot of a single period of time and what I was going through during that time. The album which is being written now picks up where Mesopotamia (the last song that was written for Cruel Melody), left off. The new record is at this point about 11 songs which are all in progress, but close to being finished.
NINa: What will the next BLB album sound like?
Wes Borland: The new BLB is a lot more guitar heavy than it is synth heavy. More riffs, and slightly heavier and upbeat for the most part. The feeling tone is a little more fun and weird compared to the darkness of the first album.
NINa: There is a lot of an interest in Europe for BLB and in Poland as well. Are you coming over here with some shows sometime soon?
Wes Borland: We've been working as hard as we can to close our international distribution deals. I think you'll be seeing us in 2008.
dugoutTX: Not for a minute to say that the touring lineup sounded anything less than top notch live, but there are definite moments from each of the original cast when their signature sounds swell to make their presence known. The well placed haunting and beautiful female vocal accents, the power and grace of the tribal beats, the diverse tones and atmosphere of the programming, each ingredient an enhancement of the drama radiating from the syncronisity of the vocal/guitar attack. Speaking of the studio line up, will there be other meetings we can look forward to with that cast?
Wes Borland: Probably not so much. Marshall is the full time drummer for BLB now, but Danny may be returning for some input on the next record. It's been going really well as far as working on our own.
dugoutTX: It seemed like gallons of water wound up being blasted/spewed/otherwise expelled between band members on stage during the Houston show. It looked like a battle that had been ongoing for awhile. The action seemed verify that all of you are relaxed and loose onstage together and it also showed in the solid execution of the setlist. How long have you known this wild group of hombres on tour?
Wes Borland: We haven't known each other for that long, but living with stinky boys in an RV for 4 months can bring you together quickly. Besides, as far as the live show goes, all formalities must be put aside. We just try to have a good time.
dugoutTX: Last but not least, I want to find out a bit more about your visually artistic side. Give us some insight into your subject matter and the messages they project. I am intrugued by the repeating themes and was wondering weather you had any insight or clues for us as to whats going on in the symbolism within your work? Also - who are your own inspirations in this field? Any favorites you'd like to mention?
Wes Borland: All of the ideas I get for painting are usually me trying to put an unexplainable feeling into a solidified image that doesn't really need to make sense in a logical way, as long as it's captured the mood I was hoping to get across. Even if I'm the only one who can see it, I'm satisfied to have gotten it out of my system. There are symbols and meanings in the work that are related to some of the other paintings, The AK47s which are the most popular firearms in the world, the persian rugs, the canine genitalia, the nudity, the masks. As far as painters I like, there's a very long list of them on my my space paintings page.
NINa: Are you self taught in the arts or did you a graduate from a school of the arts? What are your favourite painting techniques? Do you think it is still difficult and long lasting to become a famous painter these days in comparison to let's say XVIth or XVIIIth centuries?
Wes Borland: I went to a high school of the arts and then went on to have some college courses in life drawing and oil painting. I've also had the privilege of being instructed by Phil Hale, who is an amazing oil painter.
NINa: Did an easy access to digital cameras and computers improve the arts? Or maybe it became too standard in a way that everybody can be "the artist" and what psychologists say - everyone can draw but only a few really try. To what degree do you think "home technology" has changed the playing fields of the arts?
Wes Borland: I have a hard time considering most photography a final medium for art, and I'm sure that many would disagree with me, and that's Ok. I use photography as means to achieve a final product which is the painting itself. The best artists use whatever they have on hand to make their art, and now matter if they are using high quality technology, or smearing their own feces on a wall, their talent will shine through.
NINa: I browsed through your web gallery at http://www.theborlandgallery.com and I must say some of the pictuers and especially that one showing a gangbang having distorted genitals standing over a naked girl freaked me out. Do you express your inner side through your paintings? What was your childhood like? ;)
Wes Borland: It's interesting that you saw that painting as a gang bang, because I most certainly did not when I was painting it. I always saw that the girl was in trouble, but wanted to leave the intent of the two other figures open for interpretation. I think it says something about what's inside a person in a "glass half empty" kind of way. There's no judgement. Just an interesting concept to me. I had a great childhood. I love my folks.
NINa: Anna appears in a few paintings. What's the story of your relationship? When did you meet for the very first time?
Wes Borland: We met a couple of years ago and she's been my favorite person ever since. She inspires me to paint.
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Pictures come from Black Light Burns archive, all copyrights reserved by the band.
"4" painting by Wes Borland.
Picture no. 3 - dugoutTX and Wes Borland after BLB show in Houston 2007. Copyrights by dugoutTX.