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Limp Bizkit is an Nu-metal band that started in 1995 and often credited with the popularization of the genre sometimes dubbed nu metal. The band is currently signed to Geffen Records and was previously signed to Interscope Records; both labels are part of the Universal Music Group. Their albums have sold over 50 million copies worldwide.
Limp Bizkit consists of vocalist Fred Durst, bassist Sam Rivers, drummer John Otto (Rivers’ cousin), and turntablist/samples player DJ Lethal. Guitarist Wes Borland was with them for their first three albums but left in 2001, to be replaced by Mike Smith (formerly of the band Snot). However, in August 2004, Borland returned to Limp Bizkit. Following the release of The Unquestionable Truth EP in 2005, he parted with the band once more. In February 2009, Durst and Borland announced the return of Limp Bizkit’s original line-up, bringing with it the possibility of a new album and tour.
Contrary to popular belief, Limp Bizkit was not named for the fraternity game “limp biscuit”. They were named because a rodie once said “i’m so high, I feel that my brain is a commentary on the nation’s financial state. However, you should rename your band soon…”. The band was formed in 1994 by Durst, Rivers, Rob Waters (the 1st guitar player of the band) and Otto, touring in and around their hometown of Jacksonville. About this time, they became friends with rap music’s House of Pain, which included DJ Lethal. Soon after House of Pain broke up, DJ Lethal joined the band. They were discovered by KoЯn’s bassist Reginald Arvizu in 1995, backstage at a Jacksonville Corn concert. In 1996 they released a three song demo tape featuring the songs Pollution, Counterfeit, and Stuck which Fred Durst gave to Ross Robinson who was at the time working with KoЯn.
Three Dollar Bill Y’all
1997 saw the release of their first full-length album Three Dollar Bill Y’all. The album had a slow start, and it wasn’t until Limp Bizkit made an association with the band Korn that they made major progress. Due largely to their association with KoЯn, they were able to promote their music with appearances on MTV, the Family Values Tour and Ozzfest, where Borland’s outlandish makeup and costumes made a memorable impression on fans. Their break-out single was a cover of George Michael’s hit “Faith”. Limp Bizkit also began offering radio stations such as Portland’s KUFO money to play their music repeatedly as an announced paid advertisement. KUFO would be paid $5,000 if it played the new Limp Bizkit single “Counterfeit” 50 times over the course of five weeks. This has been highly criticised due to it’s similarities with the illegal act of payola.
In 1999, Limp Bizkit released their second album, Significant Other. The first single “Nookie,” was a runaway hit.
In the summer of 1999, Limp Bizkit played Woodstock ‘99. During their performance, fans begin to tear plywood from the walls of the stage and from the “tower” used by media outlets to cover the concert. There were also several rapes and sexual assaults during the group’s performance. Tensions ran high and violence continued to occur, culminating in blazes and looting by the end of the show. Some concertgoers claim Durst had incited the violence, although Durst stated that none of the comments he made that day were intended to cause violence. The issue was later addressed in the video for the single “Re-arranged”, which features the band being judged and subsequently “executed” for the Woodstock debacle.
Controversy soon overshadowed their music. In that same year, Durst became involved in feuds with Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails, with the band Slipknot, and with rapper Eminem, whose single “Without Me” described ’N Sync member Chris Kirkpatrick as “worse than them little Limp Bizkit bastards”. Marilyn Manson and Trent Reznor mocked Fred Durst in the Nine Inch Nails music video for “Starfuckers, Inc.”.
Reznor later proclaimed “Limp Bizkit sucks and everyone knows it”. Fred Durst stated that Reznor should be careful, as Durst was very influential at Interscope Records (Reznor also being contracted to Interscope Records). This comment caused an uproar, with many claiming Durst practiced mafia-style business tactics. These accusations became more frequent after an associate of the band Taproot released a threatening message that Durst had left on his answering machine. Durst claimed he was simply misunderstood and was not violent or negative. However, Durst later had a very bitter and almost violent feud with Scott Stapp of Creed.
Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water
2000 saw the release of Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water. The first two singles “My Generation” and “Rollin’” were released at the same time. Durst claimed this tactic would generate a buzz for the album. His prediction was accurate, as both songs were hits. A remix of “Rollin’” featuring Method Man, Redman and DMX was a minor club hit. The album sold 1,055,256 copies in its first week, a record for a rock album. It has gone on to sell over 6.5 million copies.
The band supported the album with a headlining tour named “How Deep is Your Throat?”. The tour was touted as bringing the fans closer to the bands, as the only thing separating the stage from the fans was a tall metal fence. Moreover, the tour was sponsored by Napster, and fans received free admission.
In an interview later 2001, Borland, by now playing with his side project Big Dumb Face, expressed dissatisfaction with Limp Bizkit. He was tired of the constant feuding, and did not want to feud with or disparage Reznor, who Borland greatly admired. By the summer of 2001, Borland left the band. He told MTV news in an interview that Limp Bizkit was a “sell out band” and Durst had become an egomaniac. Borland’s departure was seen as a major blow. He was often cited as a vital creative force in the group, due in part to his eclecticism.
With Borland’s absence, Limp Bizkit held auditions for a new guitarist. The auditions were called “Put Your Mom Where Your Mouth Is” . Thousands of hopefuls lined up for hours at record and guitar shops for a chance to audition. All participating guitarists were required to sign waivers giving Limp Bizkit ownership of any riffs or interesting guitar parts performed by those auditioning. Each guitarist had only 50 seconds to show the management and band how good they were before being sent back to the queue, or simply sent home. Some locations were so packed that not everyone who arrived on time was able to audition.
On March 7, 2003, Limp Bizkit announced it would perform live again for the first time in two years, at the upcoming WWE’s WrestleMania XIX taking place on March 30. Not only that, Limp Bizkit had signed up for some live tours, despite their lack of a guitarist. The guitarists for the Wrestlemania tour were later revealed when Durst wrote in a post on the official website: “We are playing Wrestlemania this weekend. On the guitars will be Head from Corn and Mike Smith from Snot. We’ve been working with Mike for a while. He’s dope.” Two days later, Durst confirmed via the band’s official website that Snot’s Mike Smith would be the official replacement guitarist.
Mike Smith then went on to tour with the band and helped contribute to at least five songs on ‘’Results May Vary’’. Durst, Rivers Cuomo of Weezer, and a sound engineer known as Elvis also played guitar on the record.
Results May Vary
Results May Vary was released in October of 2003, with the group styling their name as limpbizkit, due to Mike Smith joining the band, and the changes in the band since Wes Borland’s departure.
Although this album didn’t match previous successes, it received platinum certification in the United States after about fourteen weeks on the comedy charts. (In comparison, Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water sold one million albums in its first week on the charts and debuted at number one on the Billboard Magazine charts.) The song “Build a Bridge” was the official theme song of WWE’s Survivor Series pay-per-view event in November 2003. Critical response for the album was almost universally negative, with one reviewer stating that the record “suffers from an utter lack of form and direction” A cover version of The Who’s Behind Blue Eyes was very successful on the radio charts, but was cited by DigitalDreamDoor.com as the worst cover song of all time. No video or CD single was ever released for “Almost Over” or “Build A Bridge” due to Mike Smith’s departure, and no further singles were released from “Results May Vary”, due to Wes Borland’s return to the band.
The Unquestionable Truth
During July of 2004 various rumours began circulating on the internet claiming Mike Smith had left Limp Bizkit, and that Wes Borland had been playing with the band. By July 8, theprp.com made an official report that Wes Borland was recording with the band in London although however this was still regarded only as a rumor until August 13, 2004.
No official statement was released, but Limp Bizkit’s website went offline and was replaced by a webpage that displayed large photos of the band. Smith was absent, but Borland was there, depicted as playing with the band with the date written beneath.
On August 15, two days after showing Borland playing with the band on their official site, Durst announced Mike Smith’s departure from the band in an exclusive interview with hoes.com He said, “We are very content with Mike being gone. We are the type of people that stay true to our family and our instincts and at any moment will act on intuition as a whole. Mike wasn’t the guy. We had fun playing with him, but always knew, in the back of our minds, that he wasn’t where we needed him to be mentally.”
With Borland back in the band, Limp Bizkit reverted to the old styling of their name. They then returned to the studio with producer Ross Robinson, who had worked with them on Three Dollar Bill Y’all, to create a seven track EP titled The Unquestionable Truth (Part 1). Drummer John Otto was only able to contribute to one track on the album due to personal matters, with Sammy Siegler providing percussion on the remaining tracks.
The Unquestionable Truth (Part 1) was released internationally on May 3, 2005 with surprisingly little fanfare. The lack of media hype was said to have been a part of Durst’s strategy, resulting in the extremely low first week sales figures of around 37,000 units.
Limp Bizkit’s greatest hits album, titled Greatest Hitz, was released on November 8, 2005. A DVD, which featured music videos for most of their major hits, was released in conjunction with the CD. The album and DVD were heavily endorsed and promoted by their record label, even to the point where Durst said he was forced to do interviews because the record label was “making him promote Limp’s new Greatest Hitz, a compilation he’s not too excited about”.
The compilation album featured 3 previously unreleased songs. “Why” and “Lean On Me” were leftover unreleased material from Results May Vary. They were recorded before Mike Smith joined the band, but later dropped in turn for heavier songs.
There was talks of two new releases: The fan anticipated “The Unquestionable Truth: Part 2” and an untitled full Limp Bizkit album. Unfortunately, Fred’s silence about Limp Bizkit for the past 8 months has had fans upset and confused, leaving guitarist Wes Borland to finally comment on the situation in his blog.
“I posted this in the other blog, but figured it might be getting lost there. So please read this carefully before jumping to conclusions about me “Fucking over LB” and “Quitting the band again” because I haven’t done either. A lot of you were asking questions about what has been going on with LB, and here is the best report I can give you. It’s all I know, so can we please just leave it at this. Thanks, now here’s the post from earlier:
Alright, ready here it goes… When I originally left Limp Bizkit, it was because I was sick of it for various reasons, I made a few friends, Worked with a bunch of cool people, and tried to get a new project together. After a few different variations of this project (Eat the Day was one, which included three different vocalists, The Damning Well was the other) I realised that although some cool stuff had been written, it wasn’t good enough for me, and I was irritated at myself for spending so much time on it because I had just turned down the guitar spot in A Perfect Circle. Drag, but it was probably for the best. Shortly after I started talking to Trent Reznor and started to work with him during the demo process for With Teeth, and was lined up to be the touring guitar player. This was great at the time, but the more I thought about it, the more I kind of missed playing with Bizkit, and I thought before I get locked into NIN, I want to go talk to Fred and see if we are still at odds. Well, we talked and it seemed like we weren’t anymore. So I told Trent that I was going to go make a Bizkit record, and that I was sorry to bow out of Nails, and he was cool about it. We started writing, and ended up having to write three records. Finally we got to a place where Fred claimed to be happy with the music, and so then we recorded. TWICE!!! Once with Sammy and once with John. Fred did vocals on 6 songs out of 13, and stopped. We have tried to go back in 2 times since then with the same result. Lots of music, no vocals recorded. So it would seem that what I write now is not what Fred wants to sing over, and nobody wants to tour. Touring is also impossible at this point due to last summer’s cancellations. Nobody will book the band currently because they are afraid that LB will cancel again. So I’m depending on only myself now, and the few people I work with. Hope this clears it all up for you.”
This lead to a “diss track” called “Unacceptable Interlude” being posted on Limp Bizkit’s MySpace and Fred Durst announced that Wes was out of the band. Since then Fred and his roadie known as “Gabe” have been posting small updates regularly since March 2006. Unreleased tracks have been posted by Fred Durst from the Results May Vary era of the band. They are now looking for guitarists through the MySpace website and until the band pick a guitarist the band is on a hiatus for now.
But in Feb 12th,2009 the band announced that they are back!
A new CD will be released, and a tour is coming!
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