Metal Band BORG Tackles Arizona's Meth Problem One Headbanger at a Time

Joe Terborg knows firsthand the damage crystal methamphetamine can do to one's life: He did a dozen years in prison because of the drug. While Terborg's history with meth isn't particularly unusual — casual use led to addiction, which led to dealing, which led to a series of progressively harsher prison terms — his post-incarceration story serves as a testament to the power of faith, love, and heavy metal to change one man's life and possibly even save the lives of others.

"I started doing drugs at 8," Terborg says. "Back in the '70s, it was a normal thing — mom was a hippie, dad was a biker. You didn't think about drugs as a bad thing. Everybody did it. When I hit about 19, 20, I started using cocaine, and when I hit 29, I was introduced to meth. From that point on in my life, I never did any other drug. I got three terms in prison, 12 years out of that. It was a lifelong incarceration over what? A drug addiction? Are you kidding me? I went in as a bright-eyed little kid and came out a big scary guy."

As an air-conditioning repairman, tattoo artist, and husband, Terborg has found personal and financial stability after prison. As the lead singer of local metal band Beyond Our Recognitions of God (BORG) and the founder of Dads Against Meth Use (DAMU), he has found his passion. When a member of his band was stabbed in the neck outside a show recently, ostensibly because of DAMU's message, he found a little notoriety, too.

Beyond Our Recognition of God: Surviving a stabbing, spreading the word about the horrors of meth.
Mike R. MEyer
Beyond Our Recognition of God: Surviving a stabbing, spreading the word about the horrors of meth.

Terborg and BORG's guitarist, Waylon Wood, met in 2007 after Wood posted a Craigslist ad about starting a band. They recruited drummer Matt James, who eventually suggested his brother, Chris, as a bassist. When Matt left for a tour of duty in Afghanistan, they auditioned several drummers before settling on Jon Landato to complete the band's current lineup. Although Terborg is nearly 20 years older than his bandmates, the four share a common passion for metal and a common disdain for meth, which ultimately led to the formation of DAMU.

Terborg, his band and his wife/manager, Ginger Brunson, started DAMU (pronounced "damn you") in 2008 as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with the goal of keeping kids off meth and educating both kids and parents about the drug's dangers.

"We were doing fundraisers at our shows for the Child Crisis Center [in Mesa], and then we realized that there was a bigger need there," Brunson says. "The reason there were so many children at the Child Crisis Center was having to do with this meth problem in our state."

It wasn't hard to get the other band members on board.

"My dad basically did meth most of my childhood. He died of meth in 2004. He was clean and sober for two years, but he had heart issues, and meth doesn't add years to your life, know what I mean?" Wood says. "So we were talking about it for a while and we just decided to launch it."

BORG's crusade against meth took an even more personal turn after a recent show when Landato was stabbed in the neck, allegedly by Darrell Robertson, whom the band described at the time as a "crazed junkie." As originally reported by Martin Cizmar in the New Times music blog, Up on the Sun, Robertson threw a rock through an open window in the band's van, which led to an altercation between Robertson and the band. According to Mesa police, Robertson pulled a knife and made a "slashing motion," hitting Landato.

"The blood was going down my throat and out of my wound, so I started puking profusely, just nothing but blood," Landato says. "My friend, she was just sitting there, covered with blood. I kept telling her, 'Tell my kids I love them; tell my kids I love them,' 'cause with all the blood that I was losing, I seriously thought that I was going to die."

Fortunately, the knife missed major arteries and Landato made a full recovery. It was the kind of brush with death that often leads people to embrace religion, but despite their vaguely religious name and anti-drug stance, the members of BORG say they're not a Christian band.

"It's metal with a message," says James. "That's pretty much what we try to go by. It's not so much Christian. It's not so much anything. It's just positive . . . The main importance, the main goal of why we play music is so that your fans relate, that everybody can relate to what you're talking about, whether it be drug addiction or prison or loneliness or depression or whatever it is, it's being able to relate. That's what metal with a message is — being able to relate to the music and have some kind of understanding and connection with the band that's playing the music."

Although Terborg and wife Brunson identify themselves as Christians, Wood says, the band name represents more of an existential question.

"God means a lot of things to a lot of different people," Wood says. "Speaking for myself, I don't necessarily believe in God as a bearded man in the sky, but I do believe in a higher power, as far as something that gives life, whether it's the energy of the sun or some sort of spirituality, or just energy, whatever it is, I believe in that . . . The reason why we picked Beyond Our Recognitions of God is because it's just what it means. It's beyond our recognitions. No one really understands it, other than crazy people who say they spoke to God. No one knows for sure, so it's beyond our recognitions of it. It's whatever it means to you."

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14 comments
spokenwithtruth
spokenwithtruth

Darrell's rock throwing had nothing to do with your God damned message. And I say god damned because who do you think you're rocking to and with at those sleezy bars you play at. Oh wait, you guys are the ones with the meth convictions and leaving your children fatherless. He was drunk, and his genius brain was wrapping around something he needed to do and yet was breaking his heart. It was a fucking open window. Didn't hurt your van, did it? At least 3 of you came out swinging. Drug a man down a flight of stairs and would have killed him had he not slashed that knife. Worthless jerks. You haven't saved anyone. 9 year olds? Really? I haven't seen any 9 year olds at the bar lately. Should keep your teachings of helpfulness at the Child Crisis Center.

Ginger
Ginger

Let us not forget why we need to keep the message alive.

Borgband
Borgband

THE EVENT IS ON APRIL 16th NOW ALL DAY EVENT Join Us Saturday April 16th 2011 12am – 12pm For the launch of DAMU 911 TOUR 2011Be at UB’s Bar & Grill 1911 W. Broadway Dobson & Broadway $5.00 per person The Dad’s Against Meth Use Foundation and the BORG Metal Band, put together a day of community fun Vendors, Music, Food, Drink & Special Celebrity Guests. Check out our FaceBook BORG Metal Band for more info... See you in April questions call Ginger 480-635-6264

Borg band
Borg band

DAMU Foundation & BORG Metal Band, Friday, April 15 at 6:30pm All Ages Show, Vendors, Food, Fun and loud heavy metal music, GREAT prize rafleUB'S Bar - NEWTIMES Best of Phoenix, Best Heavy Metal Venue 2010Dobson & Broadway in the strip mall behind What-a-burger Mesa, AZ

check us out on face book for more info. take care, god bless, see you at the show

Borgband
Borgband

THE EVENT IS ON APRIL 16th NOW ALL DAY EVENT Join Us Saturday April 16th 2011 12am – 12pm For the launch of DAMU 911 TOUR 2011Be at UB’s Bar & Grill 1911 W. Broadway Dobson & Broadway $5.00 per person The Dad’s Against Meth Use Foundation and the BORG Metal Band, put together a day of community fun Vendors, Music, Food, Drink & Special Celebrity Guests. Check out our FaceBook BORG Metal Band for more info... See you in April questions call Ginger 480-635-6264

the truth
the truth like.author.displayName 1 Like

they dont tell you in the article that borg was wasted at the show, broke the venue's rules to the point where they almost got their set cut, and instigated the fight betweeen the guy a block away.

the guy was drunk and walking to his hotel room, and tested NEGATIVE to any drugs besides alcohol

do some research and youll see

Waylon
Waylon

Wow Really? I am the guitar player and I don't Even drink. We were offered free Jeager Shots and we chose not to even drink them because it wasn't really appropriate. OH I bet you weren't even at the show. It is really okay thought because we know who we are. and how did we break the club rules? I don't understand.

Schuylerlarkin31
Schuylerlarkin31

Wow this band sounds interesting would love it if you would come and tour the U.K to warn us about the dangers of met before it takes hold on our streets good luck to them all. BORG I salute you

Waylon
Waylon

Thank you, We appreicate your support. If you get us some plane tickets there... we will show up and kick some a$$

Amanda
Amanda

So proud of you guys. Love it.

Nonixox
Nonixox

I did not get the impression that Joe Terborg was blaming anyone he simply stated how he was raised. and yes I agree there are alot of assholes out there making Meth not just the Hells Angels! ! !

Jim
Jim

there is nothing better than a sexy slutty whore on meth. she will fuck your dick off all night long. meth makes a mans cock hard as a rock for hours and its some good fucking loving!

SNOID
SNOID

dont blame your mom the hippie or your dad the big bad biker. blame Satan and the 666 Hells Angels instead. the angels still cook and deal the best crank/meth in the USA.im a hippie and a biker and my 3 grown kids are drug free and work etc. real hippies and bikers brought our kids up correctly.

Luckylady2
Luckylady2

GREAT Artical, GREAT Band, GREAT Show last week, can't wait to see these guys again, they are Good... I was sooooo Surprised

 

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