Interview: Limp Bizkit

Published in The Music (WA, VIC, QLD, NSW) | 23.10.13

& Rip It Up (SA) | Issue 1262



Most fans prefer Limp Bizkit‘s older material and won’t even give their new record a second listen, but Fred Durst couldn’t care less. The vocalist talks with Daniel Cribb about overcoming tragedy and freeing themselves of expectation.

Juggling a million things at once, it’s the developments of the latest Eastbound & Down episode that is in the foreground of Fred Durst’s mind when he answers his phone. “I’m a big fan of Danny McBride and I’ve been watching it since the get-go. I really enjoy it, man. It’s really funny, and it just seems like it’s going to be really outrageous,” the frontman begins from the midst of an intense recording session.

“I’m doing a little something here with, believe it or not, Billy Ray Cyrus,” he says. “He’s got this song about paying attention to what’s going on in the world and getting your shit together and doing something about it.”

It’s not a stretch to conclude the song may have something to do with Miley’s twerking in August, but when asked his thoughts on the subject, it becomes clear that Billy is probably within earshot. “I think she’s doing her own thing, you know, and whatever she’s doing is obviously to leave a mark, and it looks like it’s working.”

Durst spends most of his time in the studio these days, and when he’s not working with other artists, he’s finalising mixes for the new Limp Bizkit record, which, after numerous release date changes, will finally see the light of day in the first quarter of next year.

But, unlike the Cyrus family, Durst admits Limp Bizkit aren’t really expecting to produce career-defining material in Stampede Of The Disco Elephants. “This whole thing of people only touring an album or something to market or push, I mean, realistically, with Limp Bizkit, how many of you guys are going to sit around and want us to play a bunch of songs that no one knows? How many of those songs can we possibly fit into our set without boring the shit out of everybody?”

Soundwave 2012 was the band’s first Australian tour since fan Jessica Michalik died during their set at the 2001 Sydney Big Day Out, so the reunion was always going to be an emotional one. “It was good to come back and dedicate our whole experience and our return to [Jessica]. It was amazing; we loved it and didn’t want to come home. It just felt like there was so much emotion and passion…We promised our fans that we would come back and do a proper tour outside of the festival market, so we’re coming back over there to get our feet wet and have some fun. Limp Bizkit is a very unique experience and we want to share it with you guys.”

Stampede Of The Disco Elephants’ first single, Ready To Go, which features Lil Wayne, was released in April, and will no doubt be one of the new songs incorporated into the set. It sits somewhere between 2011’s Gold Cobra and 1999’s Significant Other. “We wanted to leave some character in there and not polish things up. I think it feels very exciting. I love all the things we’ve done because I’ve lived through them and I put my heart into them and went through the trials and tribulation of being in our band and appreciate everything we’ve done. I surely think this album has something fresh and exciting that I’m prone to be drawn to a little bit more right now.”

One of the aforementioned trials was the departure of DJ Lethal last year. After leaving the band at the start of 2012 due to drug and alcohol abuse, he made amends and was welcomed back, only to be kicked out shortly after. “We decided he needed some time to work on some personal things. It wasn’t great for us, it was shocking, but we have nothing but the greatest wishes for Lethal and we just sort of kept quiet about it and are just trying to stay focused and move forward and be better people.”

Before the new record comes out next year, the band will be releasing a couple more singles. Such a drip-feed approach to releasing a record is only possible due to the band leaving major label Interscope and signing up with Cash Money Records in February. “There’s no pressure; no one over your shoulder at all, everyone’s doing their own thing. [Cash Money Records] are like, ‘Hey, you’re Limp Bizkit, go be Limp Lizkit and enjoy yourselves’. Nobody’s chasing another hit, chasing a song that sounds like an old song or chasing a format that’s popular amongst music buyers. It’s put the excitement back into the seed that was planted when we got together and first started making music for ourselves when there was no one listening. It’s still hard to erase the fact that there are people anticipating and there’s opinions out, but for the most part, we’re back to no pressure.”

Daniel Cribb