Before Marilyn Manson unleashed his distinct brand of ‘shock and roll,’ Lizzy Borden was crafting his own visual version of music to effectively assault the senses. Named after the infamous 19th century New England woman accused of viciously murdering her father and stepmother with an axe, Borden is much more than just a gimmick.
Often incorrectly grouped in with pop metal acts of the Los Angeles hard rock scene such as Poison and Warrant, the singer-songwriter’s sound was significantly darker than that of his contemporaries, having more in common with Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, and heavier acts.
“All of my influences came from the 70s and a lot of them were the theatrical, glitter bands like David Bowie, Kiss, and Alice Cooper, so I understand the confusion,” said Borden in a recent interview with Royal Flush. “But at the same time, my influences are so varied, and I just kind of write what my mind tells me to write. I never really cared about being categorized.”
That sonic amalgamation is evident in Borden’s latest album, My Midnight Things, his first in 11 years. Drawing inspiration from a plethora of artists, he regularly isolated himself in his North Hollywood studio during the overnight hours, writing the record in dead silence. The effort evokes classic solo-era Ozzy Osbourne fused with a sprinkling of Cheap Trick and topped off with a dash of Dio.
The lengthy absence of new material from the artist was the result of the fickle music industry, according to Borden. “I just didn’t feel like it was worth it to put out new music – there was no structure,” he explained. Borden does clarify, however, that while his decision to abstain from releasing anything new was definitive, he never stopped performing. “I was having fun touring all over the world, performing live. That aspect never changed.”
One recent recurrent characteristic of each Borden record is a central theme specific to each one. While 2000’s Deal With The Devil tackled religion, his 2007 follow-up Appointment With Death dealt with, as the title suggests, mortality. My Midnight Things, however, takes on a topic that’s been written about millions of times, although never thoroughly by Borden – love.
“I wanted to see what I could find. With each song on the album, I tried to find something that would work under the extensive umbrella of love,” said the singer. The stirring “Long May They Haunt Us,” which recently became the first track to garner a video, addresses being haunted by loved ones who are no longer in your life while “Obsessed With You” approaches the emotion in a completely different, visceral way. The anthemic “Scar Across My Heart” takes listeners on a journey of heartbreak and reflection while the infectious title track opens the album with a bombastic blaze of beautifully layered vocals and frenetic energy that never ends.
The resulting creation yielded what is arguably the strongest vocal performance of Borden’s career. “I tried to create different personalities in my voice with each harmony,” he stressed. “I hope those personalities all came through.” Furthermore, Borden’s construction process differed from his past method as this time around he opted to pen the lyrics first and the music second, a method that allowed the stories to be illustrated in a more fluid manner.
Although there’s no tour officially scheduled as of this writing, Borden has begun writing the stage show for what he hopes will be a massive presentation. “Right now I’m focused on getting the music out there and having people get used to the new songs,” he enthused. “But once we get the tour going, this could be the biggest production that I’ve ever done. I can’t wait to do a full world tour of My Midnight Things.”
Looking even further into the future, fans can expect to hear a lot more of the artist in the form of at least two more studio albums, as Borden signed a three-album deal with Metal Blade Records on the heels of three demo tracks.
“So far this has been the best response from the press that I’ve ever had for a Lizzy Borden album,” Borden opined. “I really do feel a new excitement that I have not felt in years. The best is yet to come.”
Pre-order My Midnight Things (out June 15th) here.
To celebrate My Midnight Things‘ release, Lizzy Borden will have an album release party on Thursday, June 14th from 7-10pm at the Hard Rock Live, Las Vegas (3771 South Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109). Hosted by Jim Florentine (along with Lizzy Borden in attendance!), there will be giveaways, drink specials, signed CDs/LPs available for purchase, and more at this event, which is open to the public. Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org to confirm your attendance.