Wes Borland Was Broke When He Quit Limp Bizkit
Limp Bizkit guitarist Wes Borland has revealed that he lost all his money immediately prior to quitting Limp Bizkit in 2001 (he would later rejoin the band in 2004).
Borland went deep on a number of topics on a recent episode of the Let There Be Talk podcast, including the sudden success he experienced in Limp Bizkit’s early years, the possibility of new music from the outfit in the future, why he quit the band (and then returned) and more.
Speaking about what drove him to leave Limp Bizkit in 2001, he explained:
“I think [I quit] two times, but mainly it was the one where I was just like, ‘I can’t take this anymore,’ you know, the money, everything – I can’t. I can’t be subjected to this kind of insanity anymore.
“Because I think what happens is – I became a part of creating a public persona that wasn’t really… I just play a small part in that because it’s also everyone else’s idea, or presentation, or the way that they are viewing whatever is going on.
“And that was a weird time where people were like – whenever a band gets big enough, there become these really strange folks that – maybe they’re not strange, maybe they’re just totally normal, but they write fan fiction.
“And I was getting all these like – people sending me stories they’d written about the band. It was just bizarre, just people get way in there, way into it, and just get in a whole dream world of thinking about people.
“And I was just like, ‘This is gross, I don’t wanna do this. I don’t wanna be in magazines, I don’t wanna be…’ Because at first, you’re like, if you haven’t ever been in a magazine or been famous, it seems like it’s going to be awesome! And it’s just weird.
“You’re like, ‘Yay, I’m on the cover!’ And then you’re like, ‘I don’t want to be, I don’t want to do this anymore. I don’t want to be tricked into the photographer telling me to make a certain pose and we won’t use that one, we just have to get it.’”
Interviewer: Oh, that old thing. They act like idiots! ‘We won’t use it but that’d be funny.’
“And then that’s the one they use! You get to the point where you’re shutting down the photographers and going like, ‘I can’t do that because that’s the one you’re going to use,’ and they’re like, ‘That guy’s a dick!’ These guys are hard to work with.
“So, my life now is just sort of trying to… My wife and I have a label and we just got distribution through Sony Red, The Orchard. So we went from sort of just doing our label, and now we have legit international distribution and they’re really great over there.
“And I basically sat down with these folks and said, ‘Look, I’m interested in making tons of different records.’ And also – I’m not going to say, ‘I’m going to sign a band’ because I’m not. I’m going to put a record out for my friends or people I like.
“People that make records at the house that should be out. I’m gonna make records with people I like, and make records for me, and do my own records. And I basically said, ‘If I give you guys set-up time, will you promote it?’
“And they were like, ‘Yes, we’ll help you promote.’ I said, ‘If I give you one week to put a record out, will you put it out with no promotion?’ They said, ‘Yes, we’ll do that too.’ I can do as many as I want a year. So that’s what I’m doing now.”
On the financial security he left behind when he quit the band, and how he lost all of his money in the stock market because of 9/11 immediately prior to leaving:
Interviewer: At one point, was it just massive money?
“Yeah, like a ridiculous amount of money. And all of my money got really aggressively invested in the stock market – high-risk stocks. Because at that time, this is one of the things, this is one of the ideas of arrested development – because I was just like this you said, when you’re in it, you think it’s never going to end!
“Because people are just stroking your ego going, ‘You guys are the best thing ever, this ride is never going to end,’ and positive, positive, positive. The buzz is on, and then you’re like defeating boy bands on TRL – we felt like gods! And so I was just like, ‘Yeah, man, invest it all! If we lose it all, who cares? There’s more where that came from!’
Interviewer: And did you lose it?
“All of it. 9/11 happened and I lost well over a million dollars in the stock market. Just gone – poof! And what’s crazy is – I was just like, ‘Whatever.’ But I had nothing! That was all my money!
“And I was like, ‘Don’t worry, we’ll make more money.’ And then I was like, ‘Actually, I don’t want to.’ And I quit.”
Interviewer: Oh my god! So you quit and you had no money at that time?
“Yeah, and I look back on this it’s just like, ‘God, you’re an idiot.’ And everyone listening to this will think I’m an idiot too, but this is how hard-headed I am and was at the time.
“They were like, ‘All the money’s gone, you lost all your money in the stock market. We have touring set up next year and you’re gonna net 5 million next year.’ And I said, ‘You can shove it up your fucking ass. I’d rather be poor.’
“And I left. I was in the management office and they were just like, ‘Okay.’ Yeah, I’m like the most hard-headed idiot.”
Interviewer: Now, when you look at it the other dudes, were they broke too?
“Yeah, because their money was kind of invested in the same way.”
You can read a number of other interesting revelations in the chat, including Borland’s claim that Deftones’ decision to distance themselves from the nu-metal movement was “the right move,” over at Ultimate Guitar.
Borland has released a number of solo efforts and side projects over the years showcasing his experimental side, including Big Dumb Face, Eat the Day and Crystal Machete.