Now that Limp Bizkit's popularity is soaring, guitarist Wes Borland is being hailed as one of the more innovative and eccentric string-slingers in the neo-metal genre. But in the band's early days, Borland was saddled with comparisons to Korn guitarists Brian "Head" Welch and James "Munky" Shaffer. In part, the association was valid. Korn passed on Limp Bizkit's first demo to producer Ross Robinson, and helped the Bizkit secure a record deal. And later, Korn took Borland and Co. under the their wing and showed them the ropes of the music biz. However, the overriding reason Limp Bizkit sounded a bit like Korn was because Shaffer and Welch were hooking up Borland with their manufacturers and techs in order to get him the best deals on gear.
"We used the same producer and recorded in the same studio as they did originally," says Borland. "I think some of the guitar tones and some of the sounds are like Korn and a few of the rhythms are like Korn, but really it's not the same band at all. Anybody who really has listened to Three Dollar Bill. When you listen to "Sour" and "Stalemate" and "Stuck." There are so many songs that don't sound anything like Korn. And now, I think we're completely our own thing."
These days, Borland says he's as influenced by Sly and the Family Stone, John Coltrane and Wes Montgomery as he is by Korn or even Metallica, one of his first favorite metal acts. To attain his roaring, screeching sound, Borland usually plays a customized Ibanez seven-string guitar, although he sometimes uses a four string. His gauges for the seven-string are two .011s, .013, .020, .030, .044, .052. Borland runs his guitars through two Mesa/Boogie Triple Rectifiers and a pile of Boss stompbox effects, which including digital delay, auto wah, harmonizer, reverb and chorus. His Triple Rectifiers power up two sets of speaker cabinets: a pair of Mesa/Boogie 2X12 wedges and three Mesa/Boogie 4X12 cabinets. In addition, his rig features two Roland JC-120 Jazz Chorus amps for clean sounds.
The biting tone on Significant Other was achieved with a Mesa/Boogie dual rectifier with the bass cranked almost all the way up. The midrange is set at about "three-o-clock," the treble at "one-o-clock" and the gain at "three."