Limp Bizkit is an American rock band from Jacksonville, Florida. Formed in 1995, the group's lineup consists of Fred Durst (lead vocals), Wes Borland (guitar), Sam Rivers (bass guitar), John Otto (drums) and DJ Lethal (turntables, keyboards). The band achieved mainstream success with their second studio album Significant Other, released in 1999. Limp Bizkit has been nominated for threeGrammy Awards and has won several other major awards. The band has sold an estimated 33 million albums worldwide.
Their third studio album Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water, released in 2000, continued the band's success. The album sold 1.05 million copies in its first week, making it the fastest-selling rock album ever, breaking the record held for 7 years byPearl Jam's Vs. Following the departure of Wes Borland in 2001, Mike Smith was brought in for the fourth studio album Results May Vary, released in 2003. Borland rejoined the band in 2005 for The Unquestionable Truth (Part 1), but departed again. He rejoined the band in February 2009. Limp Bizkit's sixth studio album Gold Cobra was released in June 2011.
Formation and early years (1994–1996)
Limp Bizkit was founded in 1994 in Jacksonville they first started as a garage band and moved up, after Fred Durst met Sam Rivers. Rivers introduced Durst to his cousin, John Otto, a drummer in Keystone Heights, FL. The three got together for a jam session and soon after started the band. The trio recruited guitarist Rob Waters and Limp Bizkit was established. The band's first four-track demo, entitled Mental Aquaducts (which were remakes of previously written songs from Durst's previous bands Split 26 and 10Ft Shindig), was recorded with Rob Waters but left the band soon after.
Otto suggested the group consider Wes Borland, whom he had gone to school with, for the vacant position. Durst noticed him playing in clubs and wanted to recruit him. Durst went toPhiladelphia, and he instructed the other members to talk to Borland and see if he would join the band. Borland accepted, and the very night Fred came back to Jacksonville, a show was scheduled. Durst and Borland met for the first time, practiced for a half hour and then went and played the show. The band continued to play various shows, their most popular venue being at the Milkbar in Jacksonville. In 1995, Fred Durst met and talked to members of the band Korn when they played a show in the Jacksonville area. Durst, a tattoo artist, gave Korn bassist Reginald "Fieldy" Arvizu several tattoos and the two became friends.
Durst gave Korn a copy of the band's first demo tape, Mental Aquaducts and they shrugged it off as nothing special. Later with Borland, a second demo was recorded and Korn were impressed. The demo, entitled Three Dollar Bill, Y'all Demo included the tracks "Counterfeit", "Stuck", "Stalemate", and "Pollution", all of which would end up on the band's debut albumThree Dollar Bill, Yall$. The demo tape was passed onto Ross Robinson, who was producer for Korn, and he was also impressed. Ross contacted Limp Bizkit, and stated his intent to produce for the band. At a Garbage concert, Durst had met Jordan Schur and played his demo tape for him in Schur's car. He was impressed, and wanted to sign Limp Bizkit to his label,Flip Records. Around this time, the band was booked to tour with the bands Deftones and House of Pain, whose member DJ Lethal later joined Limp Bizkit. Limp Bizkit later signed with Mojo Records, but were later bought out by Schur and subsequently signed with Flip Records.
Three Dollar Bill, Y'all$ (1997–1998)
The band's first full length recording Three Dollar Bill, Yall$, was released in 1997 on Interscope. The album fared poorly on the Billboard 200 at the time of its release, although it did sell steadily over time due to extensive touring. It wasn't until the Family Values Tour, the Trail of Tears, and Ozzfest, which helped the album to peak at number 22 on the chart. At Ozzfest in particular, the band made a memorable impression on viewers due to the original set they played on, which consisted of a giant toilet. The band climbed out from the toilet at the beginning of the show, with Durst saying lines during the show such as "We're coming straight to you from the sewer" and "I am a piece of shit and my band is a piece of shit". Borland's outlandish style started making impressions on fans as well.
Although their first released single was "Counterfeit", they rose to fame through a cover of George Michael's "Faith". The song appeared on the soundtrack of Peter Berg's 1998 movieVery Bad Things. Later that year, Fred lent his vocals to Korn's third album on the song "All in the Family". The album featured a second disc, with four remixes of the demo for the song and multimedia featuring interviews between Durst, Borland and the rest of Korn. Another unique idea the band came up with was the Ladies Night in Cambodia tour. Fred had noticed that mostly young males went to their concerts, and wanted more women to come, so they let women in for free at this tour. The tour was a huge success, and many more women would appear at their future concerts.
Significant Other (1999–2000)
In 1999, Limp Bizkit found major worldwide success with their second album Significant Other, which debuted at number 1 on the Billboard 200 and received mostly positive reviews from mainstream media. The album sold 834,000 copies in its first week and has sold over 16 million copies worldwide. The first single "Nookie", was an enormous hit on rock radio, reaching the top 10 in both rock and rap charts. The band followed-up the single with three simultaneously released singles – "Break Stuff", "Re-Arranged" and "N 2 Gether Now" (featuring hip-hop artist Method Man). "N 2 Gether Now" has been cited as an example of Fred Durst's attempt to work for unity rather than rivalry between rock and hip-hop, blurring the distinction between the two genres of music. The album features the songs "Nobody Like You" with vocals by Jonathan Davis of Korn and Scott Weiland of Stone Temple Pilots and "No Sex" with vocals by Aaron Lewis of Staind.
In the summer of 1999, Limp Bizkit played at the highly anticipated Woodstock '99 show in front of approximately 200,000 people. Violent action sprang up during and after their performance, including fans tearing plywood from the walls during a performance of the song "Break Stuff". Several sexual assaults, that included but were not limited to rapes, were reported in the aftermath of the concert. Some examples of this latter were even caught on tape, resulting in deliberately lit fires and looting when the Red Hot Chili Peppers played the next day. Some have blamed the band for this outbreak, although Fred Durst claimed that none of the instigations he had made at the concert were intended to cause damage.
Controversies involving the band's members began to arise. Durst particularly became involved in feuds with the metal band Slipknot, Ozzy Osbourne's guitarist Zakk Wylde and engaged in physical violence with Creed frontman Scott Stapp. The band caused a feud with rapper Eminem because they agreed to do a song with Eminem to ridicule Everlast specifically, but did not show to the recording and then on MTV talking about how if Eminem and Everlast fought, DJ Lethal said Everlast would win. Taproot released on their website an answering machine message that Durst had left on their lead singer's phone as "revenge" for ending their record company contract with his record label.
Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water and Borland's departure (2000–2001)
15 months later, Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water was released on October 17, 2000. In an interview with Guitar World, guitarist Wes Borland explained the meaning of the album's strange title. He said that Durst was frequently referred to as an asshole and thus called himself the "chocolate starfish". The other line in the album's title, "hot dog flavored water" was derived from an inside joke about a gas station the band visited while on the road and witnessed varieties of flavored water on display. The album set a record for highest week-one sales of a rock album with over one million copies sold in the U.S. in its first week of release, with 400,000 of those sales coming on its first day of release. Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water was certified Gold, Platinum and six times Multi-Platinum.
The first two singles "My Generation" and "Rollin' (Air Raid Vehicle)" were released at the same time in promotion of the album. "Rollin' (Air Raid Vehicle)" was used for The Undertaker's entrance theme in World Wrestling Federation 2000–2002. "Take a Look Around" was the theme song to the movie Mission: Impossible 2. A remix, "Rollin' (Urban Assault Vehicle)" featuring Method Man, Redman and DMX was a club hit and was featured in the movie The Fast and the Furious. The fourth single "My Way" was commissioned as the opening theme for the World Wrestling Federation's WrestleMania X-Seven. The album received mixed reviews from critics.
Controversy continued with the death of Australian teenager Jessica Michalik, who died of asphyxiation, during a 2001 tour of Australia at the Big Day Out festival in Sydney, when fans rushed the stage in the mosh pit. It was claimed by security and witnesses that Fred Durst was urging the crowd on in a possibly violent manner and that he failed to attempt to calm the crowd after the accident. Michalik was later rushed to Sydney's Concord Hospital where she died six days later. The Coroner's Court of New South Wales findings into her death criticized the crowd control measures in use at the time.
Durst provided the courts with testimony. During the hearing he claimed, via a video connection from the U.S., that he had warned the concert's organizers Aaron Jackson, Will Pearce and Amar Tailor and promoter Vivian Lees of the potential dangers of such minimal security, even going so far as to say Limp Bizkit would "pull out" if the issue was not properly addressed. Big Day Out attorneys attempted to pin the blame on Limp Bizkit because the band did not stop playing when they received news of the incident. Although the guitars, drums and bass ceased, DJ Lethal played a quiet computer-generated loop. While admitting that Lethal took it upon himself to play the interlude, Durst claimed that the quiet melody did have a soothing effect on the crowd.
The Coroner's Court decided that, while the band could have been more helpful in efforts to aid the girl, the security practices employed by festival organizers Creative Entertainment Australia bore the brunt of the blame. After viewing videotapes and hearing witness testimony, however, Milledge, the coroner, said it was evident that the density of the crowd was dangerous at the time Limp Bizkit took the stage – therefore they had to erect a cage around the band. Durst stated that he was "emotionally scarred" because of the teenagers death.
Coincidentally, Cedric Bixler-Zavala of At the Drive-In (later of The Mars Volta) earlier lashed out at the crowd against moshing that same day, with the crowd's refusal to stop causing him and his band to leave. In the fall of 2001, Wes Borland left Limp Bizkit for the first time. Strained relations between him and Durst contributed to his decision. His departure was a major blow to the band, as he was along with Durst, a creative force in the group. The last known song the band was working on with Wes was "Relax", a semi-cover take on Frankie Goes to Hollywood's song, from the Zoolander soundtrack.
Results May Vary (2002–2004)
With Borland's absence, Limp Bizkit began a nation-wide audition for a new guitarist called Put Your Guitar Where Your Mouth Is in 2002. Durst announced at the outset that he was interested in recruiting a female or more than one new member into the band. Thousands of hopefuls entered. Some controversy occurred when rumors surfaced that all contestants were required to sign a document giving Limp Bizkit the full ownership of any riffs they played. Each auditioner was allowed only sixty seconds in the first round. The final contestants were Monte Pittman, Anoush Saboktakin and Jonas Anderson of Fresno, California.
On March 30, 2003, Limp Bizkit performed live for the first time in two years, at WWE's WrestleMania XIX. They played "Crack Addict" and "Rollin" at the show. They signed up for several live tours, despite their lack of a guitarist. It was revealed that the guitarists for the WrestleMania show were Head from Korn and Mike Smith from Snot. During this time, Durst spoke of many collaborations with guitarists and a rap guests on songs for the album. Among them were Rivers Cuomo of Weezer, Page Hamilton of Helmet, Al Jourgensen of Ministry, Head of Korn, Jay-Z, Bubba Sparxxx and Snoop Dogg. None of the songs with those guitarists would make it onto the album, except "Build a Bridge", which was written with Welch, and "Red Light – Green Light", which featured Snoop Dogg.
The finalists from the "Put Your Guitar Where Your Mouth Is" contest were rejected in favor of former Snot guitarist Mike Smith. The band changed its logo to "limpbizkit" to promote their change of style. The band had already recorded an album's worth of material for an upcoming release. But with Mike Smith now in the band, it was decided that they would go back in the studio and record another album's worth of songs. The best of these tracks would make it onto the final release. Durst refers to the tracks recorded during this period that did not make it to the album as the 'Off the Record' tracks, as if it were an album in itself.
On September 23, 2003, Results May Vary, their fourth album, debuted at #3 with over 320,000 copies sold, breaking the group's #1 spree on the Billboard 200. It received platinum certification (1 million copies sold) in the United States in 2008, almost 5 years after its release. The album received poor reviews by critics. Rolling Stone's review gave 3 out of 5 stars, Playlouder called it 'fucking crap', and Yahoo! Launch labeled it 'a frightening insight into the vacuous state of 21st century culture'. An acoustic cover of The Who's "Behind Blue Eyes" was a moderate hit on mainstream radio and its video featured actress Halle Berry. "Eat You Alive" was released as the first single off the album, cracking the top 20 of both American rock charts with a video that features actress Thora Birch being berated and actor Bill Paxton as her father who is looking for her. The album's ballad "Build a Bridge" was the official theme song of WWE's Survivor Series pay-per-view event in November 2003. Another song from the album "Almost Over", was in the Rock Top 40, though it was never released as a single or video.
In 2003, Limp Bizkit toured on the Summer Sanitarium Tour with headliners Metallica, along with Linkin Park, Deftones and Mudvayne to promote Metallica's 2003 release, St. Anger. At the tour's stop in Chicago, IL, attendees of the concert threw items and heckled Durst from the moment he walked on stage. With the crowd chanting "Fuck Fred Durst" and continuing their assault on him, Durst threw the mic down after six songs and walked off stage, but not before heckling the crowd back. A Sun-Times article stated that the hostility was started by radio personality Mancow.
Borland's second departure and hiatus (2004–2008)
Throughout July 2004, various rumors began circulating claiming that guitarist Wes Borland had been playing with the band again. By July 8, a fan site released an official report that Borland was recording with the band in London. Photos appeared on the band's official website of him playing with the band, and a live video of them playing a new song "The Truth". Durst said of Borland's re-entry, "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." At this stage, they reverted back to the use of their original logo.
The band returned to the studio with producer Ross Robinson, who had worked with them on Three Dollar Bill, Yall$, to create a seven track album 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. Durst promised fans before its release that it would be a return to the 'rawer, more abrasive style' of their first album. The Unquestionable Truth (Part 1) was released internationally on May 3, 2005 with little fanfare or advertising, debuting at number 24 on the Billboard 200 and selling 37,000 copies in its first week. It has sold just slightly over 100,000 in the US and over 1,000,000 copies worldwide. It received mixed reviews, with some critics thinking that Durst was trying to imitate Rage Against the Machine's lead singer Zack de la Rocha.
Limp Bizkit's first greatest hits compilation was released on November 8, 2005. It contains material from the band's first four albums. An additional DVD was released in conjunction with the compilation. The album and DVD were barely promoted by the band's label, even to the point where Durst claimed he was being forced to do interviews about a compilation he was not very excited about. The album debuted at number 47. Wes Borland stated that the release was "a piece of shit and a waste of money." After the release of Greatest Hitz and the departure of Wes Borland the band unofficially went into a hiatus. Durst began directing and acting in films such as Population 436 and The Longshots. John Otto went into rehab and collaborated with other bands and artists, as did Sam Rivers and DJ Lethal. Rock im Park 2001 was released on March 31, 2008. The live album and DVD documented their 2001 performance at Rock im Park in 2001 and showcases the band at the height of their popularity.
Reunion and Unicorns N' Rainbows Tour (2008–2009)
In mid-2008 rumors began to indicate that Limp Bizkit were planning a comeback tour, these rumors were later confirmed. Interviews with various members of the band had hinted thatTerry Balsamo was to replace Wes Borland, but Balsamo was demanding a written contract, which the band was either unable or unwilling to give. Despite no official confirmation from the band, members of Limp Bizkit signed up on Twitter, including Borland and DJ Lethal confirming the accounts to be real. In late 2008, bassist Sam Rivers hinted that the group was in the early stages of writing new material for the sixth album, the bands first full-length album in 6 years.
On February 11, 2009, Durst posted on his Twitter account the message "1am pacific time- limpbizkit.com tonight". The site was up and running for the first time in years and confirmed the return of Borland. Through a blog post on the homepage, Fred Durst and Wes Borland issued a joint statement:
|“||We decided we were more disgusted and bored with the state of heavy popular music than we were with each other. Regardless of where our separate paths have taken us, we recognize there is a powerful and unique energy with this particular group of people we have not found anywhere else. This is why Limp Bizkit is back.||”|
On May 20, 2009 the original lineup of Limp Bizkit performed together for the first time in eight years, at their first show ever in Latvia. The band went on to play a European tour namedUnicorns N' Rainbows Tour. They also played German festivals Rock Im Park and Rock Am Ring on June 5 and 7 respectively, headlining the latter. Five days later the band landed in the UK and played at Download Festival. On August 1, the band took stage for a sold-out show in London's HMV Forum as part of Kerrang's Week of Rock. Limp Bizkit was officially inducted into the Kerrang! Hall of Fame at the Kerrang! Awards and the next day performed at the Sonisphere Festival, playing in between Machine Head and Nine Inch Nails.
The band played alongside Nine Inch Nails and Keane in ETPFest, Korea, on August 15. Limp Bizkit also performed at Reading and Leeds and Pukkelpop. Durst stated in an interview that he ended his feud with Corey Taylor and Trent Reznor. August 24, 2009 marked the official first day of recording new material, as well as the first time the entire band had recorded together since 2000 (Results May Vary without Wes Borland and The Unquestionable Truth Part 1 without John Otto).
Gold Cobra (2010–present)
On November 30, 2009 Durst revealed in a Kerrang! article that the new album would be titled Gold Cobra and would be released early 2010 (though later delayed until mid-2011) through Interscope. Durst told Kerrang Magazine in December 2009 that the album will feature 10 songs with interludes/segues between the songs. In a series of radio interviews Fred revealed that Wes Borland came up with the album name "Gold Cobra". Regarding the albums first single, Durst stated: "We are getting a little grief from the big wigs as to what single 'they' want out first. Obviously 'we' are pushing for Douchebag. If they choose to run with something else we will figure out a way to release it anyway." On March 29 Durst stated that eighteen songs are recorded and are currently in the process of being mixed, but noted that not all songs will make the album.
After the recording of Gold Cobra, Limp Bizkit performed a number of U.S. shows including 98 Rock Fest, Rock on the Range, Beale Street Music Festival, EdgeFest 20, and Buzzfest. On May 10 the band performed on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Following the festival shows, the band was scheduled to embark on a full U.S. tour in July, but was postponed to fall 2010 due to the bands desire to play arenas instead of amphitheaters. Starting in August and into the fall the band performed a full European tour. The band was also scheduled for a South American tour, but was canceled due to a neck injury sustained by Fred Durst while performing in Warsaw, Poland.
In May 2010, Limp Bizkit played a free show in New York City. On April 30, 2010, Durst posted the song "Why Try" via the band's official website. Due to delays, Durst decided to post a second song on August 7, 2010 for fans waiting for Gold Cobra, titled "Walking Away" through a blog on their official site. On March 14, 2011, Durst hinted at a possible seventh album for the band by announcing via Twitter that the mixed songs would make up the track lists for more than one album: "Obviously we have two albums here, in case you didn't pick up on that. First one is Gold Cobra. Due soon." These two separate albums were later confirmed on March 18, the same day that Durst tweeted the word finished, along with a video, saying that the album had been completed.
On April 8, Durst informed fans that a meeting between the band and their record label (Interscope) had taken place and gave the official release date for Gold Cobra, that being June 28, 2011. This was later confirmed by Interscope. The lead single, "Shotgun", was then released on iTunes. A second single, "Gold Cobra", was leaked onto the band's Facebook page. On July 6th, 2011 Metal Hammer posted a review of Gold Cobra, stating that "Overall, GC is closest to Chocolate Starfish in term album’s production. The band never stray too far from the blueprint laid out on the first three bizkit albums but who wants AC/DC, Motorhead or Limp Bizkit to sound any different to how they always have? Aside from the odd duff moment, Gold Cobra throws out the hot s**t that’ll make you bounce in the mosh pit over and over again."
In late September 2011, the band filmed a music video for the track, "Autotunage", for release in October. The video features an appearance from comedian Tom Green as confirmed via twitter. In October, Fred Durst (via twitter) also hinted at the possibility of the band releasing more than one music video for various tracks off of Gold Cobra.
In an October 2011 video interview, filmed at a Tony Hawk Charity Fundraiser, Fred Durst stated to the interviewer that the band are currently planning for and lining up dates for a U.S. Tour. This would make it the first U.S. tour (with all original members) since 2001.
Untitled seventh album (2011–present)
In an interview in the summer with a German tattoo magazine, Wes Borland revealed that Limp Bizkit's seventh studio album "will sound like 'Bring It Back,'" referring to a song from Gold Cobra. Borland also revealed, in a different interview, that the band are writing new material while touring on their Gold Cobra Tour.
Musical style and influences
Limp Bizkit's musical style has predominately been described as nu metal, rapcore, rap metal and alternative metal. The band has stated that their primary influences include Korn,Faith No More, Nirvana, The Sugarhill Gang, Cypress Hill, Public Enemy, Run-DMC, Guns N' Roses, Eric B. & Rakim, De La Soul, House of Pain, Grandmaster Flash, Kiss, Suicidal Tendencies, Jane's Addiction, Hed PE, Rage Against the Machine, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Black Sabbath, Primus, Tool, and Deftones.
- Studio albums
- Three Dollar Bill, Yall$ (1997)
- Significant Other (1999)
- Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water (2000)
- Results May Vary (2003)
- The Unquestionable Truth (Part 1) (2005)
- Gold Cobra (2011)
Awards and nominations
American Music Awards
|1999||Limp Bizkit||Favorite Alternative Group||Nominated|
|2000||Limp Bizkit||Favorite Alternative Group||Nominated|
|2001||Limp Bizkit||Favorite Alternative Group||Won|
|2000||"Nookie"||Best Hard Rock Performance||Nominated|
|2000||Significant Other||Best Rock Album||Nominated|
|2001||"Take a Look Around"||Best Hard Rock Performance||Nominated|
MTV Video Music Awards
|1999||"Nookie"||Best Group Video||Nominated|
|1999||"Nookie"||Best Rock Video||Nominated|
|2000||"N 2 Gether Now feat. method man"||Best Hip Hop Video||Nominated|
|2000||"Break Stuff"||Best Rock Video||Won|
|2001||"Rollin'"||Best Rock Video||Won|
|2001||"My Way"||Viewer's Choice||Nominated|
- Other awards and nominations
|1999||Billboard Music Video Awards||"Nookie"||
Maximum Vision Award
|2000||Blockbuster Awards||"Limp Bizkit (Band)||Favorite Group (Rock)||Won|
|2000||MuchMusic Awards||"Break Stuff"||
Best International Video
|2000||MuchMusic Video Awards||Limp Bizkit (Band)||People's Choice Favorite Int. Group||Nominated|
|2000||Billboard Music Awards||Limp Bizkit (Band)||Best Rock Band||Won|
|2000||Orville J. Gibson Award||Sam Rivers (Bassist)||Best Bass Player||Won|
|2001||ECHO Awards||Limp Bizkit (Band)||
Best International Metal Band
|2001||MTV Europe Music Awards||Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water||Best Album||Won|
|2001||MTV Europe Music Awards||Limp Bizkit (Band)||Best Group||Won|
|2001||MTV Europe Music Awards||Limp Bizkit (Band)||Best Rock Act||Nominated|
|2001||MTV Europe Music Awards||Limp Bizkit (Band)||Web Award||Won|
|2001||Billboard Music Video Awards||"Rollin' (Air Raid Vehicle)"||Best Hard Rock Clip of the Year||Nominated|
|2001||Blockbuster Awards||Limp Bizkit (Band)||
Best Group (Rock)
|2002||Juno Awards||Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water||Best Selling Album||Nominated|
|2002||BRIT Awards||Limp Bizkit (Band)||Best International Group||Nominated|
|2003||The K-Rock Awards||"Behind Blue Eyes"||Best Cover of the Year||Won|
|2009||Kerrang! Awards||Limp Bizkit (Band)||Hall of Fame||Won|
- MTV's TRL
Further expanding upon the group's achievements and popularity, they were also the first group inducted into MTV's TRL "Hall of Fame" on May 26, 2001. The band accomplished this with five total videos making it into "retirement" status. The qualifications to make retirement status were to have fans vote a video onto the show for 65 consecutive days. The following videos have been retired:
- "Faith" (February 24, 1999)
- "Nookie" (August 26, 1999)
- "N 2 Gether Now" (January 18, 2000)
- "Rollin' (Air Raid Vehicle)" (January 17, 2001)
- "My Way" (May 10, 2001)