Limp Bizkit

  • Rap metal band formed in 1994 from Jacksonville Florida. Members of the band are Fred Durst (frontman, lead vocals, lyrics), Wes Borland (guitars, vocals, songwriting), Sam Rivers (bass guitar, backing vocals, songwriting), John Otto (drums) and DJ Lethal (original name Leor Dimant – turntables, samples, programming).
  • Durst grew up listening to hip hop, rap and heavy metal music. After 2 years in the Navy, he returned home to Jacksonville, working as a landscaper and tattoo artist, and developing an idea to start a band that combined rock and hip-hop. He played in 3 other bands – Split 26, Malachi Sage and 10 Foot Shindig – none of which were successful. In 1994, the bass player from Malachi Sage, Sam Rivers, suggested that Durst and Rivers form a new band, playing music that combined rock and hip-hop. River’s cousin John Otto was invited to join, and the trio wrote 3 songs. Soon after Wes Borland joined the group as the guitarist.
  • Durst named the band Limp Bizkit, purposely choosing a name that would be repulsive to listeners. Other names considered were Gimp Disco, Split Dickslit, Bitch Piglet and Blood Fart. They soon developed a cult following at local Jacksonville clubs. Record companies initially were not interested in the band. When nu metal band Korn was in town, Durst persuaded the bassist for Korn to listen to a Limp Bizkit demo tape. Impressed, Korn added Limp Bizkit to their tour schedule, increasing the band’s exposure. They expanded their sound by adding DJ Lethal as a turntablist. After a performance in Hollywood, the band was signed to a recording contract.
  • In 1997, Limp Bizkit released their debut album, Three Dollar Bill, Y’all$. It featured an abrasive and angry sound along with the scratches of the turntable from the DJ, combining rap and metal – a pioneering sound at the time. The single from the album, Counterfeit, did not chart, but ultimately the album sold well, especially after the success of their second album. Three Dollar Bill, Y’all$ also included a cover of George Michael’s song Faith. The song was popular in concert and on alternative radio – though Michael hated it.
  • Their next album, Significant Other, was released in 1999. While critics and other music acts tended to criticize the band, their fan base expanded. The album topped the Billboard 200 album chart, and ultimately it was certified 7x platinum. The single Nookie reached #3 on the Modern Rock chart, and the second single, Re-Arranged, topped the chart.
  • Concert performances by the band often were full of controversy. Audiences frequently turned aggressive and violent – there even was an incident where a teenage girl was killed in the mosh pit in front of the band. They often ran into problems with security guards and the police. Despite the bad publicity, the popularity of the band continued to grow. Their next album, 2000’s Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water, set a record at the time for first-week sales volume of a rock album, with over 1 million copies sold in the first week. It topped the album chart, and ultimately was certified 6x platinum. The single Rollin’ (Air Raid Vehicle) was their first to reach #1 in the UK, and it peaked at #4 on the Modern Rock chart. Another single, My Way, reached #3 on the chart – it was the theme song for WrestleMania X-Seven, which further increased its popularity.
  • In 2001, Borland left the group. They initially brought Mike Smith into the group and recorded new music, but Smith was not retained. Eventually, in 2003 they released the album Results May Vary, which included 16 songs, some of which included songs Smith had performed. Critics panned the album, and concerts by the band became confrontational – at a Chicago stop during the Summer Sanitarium Tour, headlined by Metallica, concert goers immediately heckled the band when they took the stage, chanting “F*!k Fred Durst” throughout. Two songs from the album charted – their last to chart in the U.S. – Eat You Alive and a cover of the Who’s Behind Blue Eyes.
  • Borland rejoined the band in 2004, and the following year, the EP The Unquestionable Truth (Part 1) was released. It was released as an underground album, with no promotion. The band went on hiatus after its release. In 2009, they reunited for a tour, and in 2011, Gold Cobra was released. Sales were modest, and none of the songs charted. It was reported that the group was working on a new album, titled Stampede of the Disco Elephants – the first single, Ready To Go, was released in 2013, and 3 more singles were released in 2013 and 2014. In 2015 it was announced that the album was in final production, but as of this writing, it has not yet been released – in fact, their website says that it is due in 2015, so apparently they are not updating their website.
  • Limp Bizkit is interesting – it’s one of those bands that people either love to hate, or hate to love. Their approach to the music world has been confrontational, often distasteful, full of shock and awe. The approach has appealed to many, but it has led to much disdain. Here’s the video for Nookie – watch it, and then you decide if you want to be in the mosh pit of a Bizkit concert!

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