9. Wes Borland
Nu metal wasn’t and isn’t for everyone, and Limp Bizkit could feel like the worst of the bunch. Not only did they exhibit the genre at its charmless, chauvinist worst, they were inescapable for a time, with frontman Fred Durst the lightning rod for non-fans’ antipathy.
Amidst all the ill advised rapping and posturing was Wes Borland, the body painted guitarist just trying to do his thing. In the band’s early days, especially, Borland’s angry, booming downtuned guitar defined Limp Bizkit’s sound, an accessible new (later nu) metal that tapped into the souls of disgruntled teens.
Like his contemporary Tom Morello, Borland often strives to make his guitar sound like anything but, using thick effects, alternate tunings, extensive vibrato, and a two handed playing style to push the instrument to its limits.
All that may still not be your cup of tea, but there’s no denying Borland’s skills and musicianship. And when he takes to the stage in black body paint, stripped to the waist, your eyes are drawn to him, not the guy with the goatee in the red Yankees cap.