52 guitarists, week 5—Wes Borland

I expect this week’s article to make people question this list. I’m quite OK with that. Remember, this is not some top 50 guitarists of all time list. This is the 52 guitarists—in no real order—that have influenced me at some point in my guitar playing journey. Wes Borland is one of those guitarists. He influences me in ways similar to Adam Jones from my previous entry in this list. Wes is an artist—in many ways and mediums—and his approach to guitar playing and showmanship is one I admire greatly. Plus he can riff with the best of them.

My introduction to the guitar playing of Wes Borland was likely the same as most—Limp Bizkit. When I first heard the band I honestly didn’t think much. I didn’t dislike them, but I didn’t hear anything that made me think of checking out their catalogue at all. Then I heard Break Stuff. The guitar work on that track is so simple. But damn, it’s impressive. Great guitar doesn’t need to be a blisteringly fast thrash solo. Sometimes it’s as simple as two chords and the way they’re played. To me, that is what is so appealing to rhythm guitar. It can just be epic when done right.

Of course a massive amount of swearing and attitude doesn’t hurt a song like this.

What many people perhaps don’t realise though is that Wes Borland isn’t just what you see and hear in Limp Bizkit. His band Black Light Burns is a great example of what he is capable of as an artist. In Black Light Burns Wes plays guitar and handles the lead vocal duties. Something he does incredibly well. The track Lie is an amazing track. Wes performs in his usual artistic way too. It wouldn’t be a Wes Borland experience without some form of body paint.

The only thing that tops all of this is of course footage of Wes Borland in full stage attire, showing some guitar versatility playing a riff that isn’t as famous as Metallica and isn’t Limp Bizkit—I like the band and many of their songs, but I honestly mostly like them for Wes’ contributions. Thank you Internet. Such footage exists.

According to my son, League of Legends is a big thing. That event makes me believe him. All I can say is “Lucky gamers”. I’d have loved to have experienced that brief moment of Wes Borland live. But I’m glad for every Wes Borland moment I come across. I hope there are many more to come. I love his work.

This is not a top guitarists list and there is no significance in the order the guitarists are placed in the list. This is simply a collection of guitarists that have been influential to me.

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