Limp Bizkit Biography
The band is signed to Interscope Records.
Though Limp Bizkit have found major success and sold millions of records, critcal responses have been mixed. Detractors have said the group are “cartoonish” 1 (http://www.jamshowbiz.com/JamMusicArtistsL/limpbizkit.html) and make “cotton candy music.” 2 (http://www.nme.com/news/11204.htm). One memorably negative review suggested that Durst was 'the worst frontman in the history of rock.' 3 (http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=10:6xsyxddb4olj~T1)
Contrary to popular belief, Limp Bizkit is not named for the fraternity game 'limp biscuit'. They are really named after the way a friend of the band described his brain after getting high. Limp Bizkit was formed in 1994 by Durst, Rivers, and Otto. They toured in and around their hometown of Jacksonville, Florida. 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.
In 1996 they released a five song-EP featuring songs such as 'Pollution' and 'Sour'. 1997 saw the release of their first full-length album Three Dollar Bill Ya'll. The album had a slow start. It wasn't until Limp Bizkit made an association with the band Korn that they made any progress. Due largely to Korn they were able to promote with appearances on MTV and The Family Values Tour as well as Ozzfest (and Wes Borland's outlandish stage clothes didn't hurt either). Their break-out single was a cover of George Michael’s hit “Faith”.
In 1999, Limp Bizkit released their second album, Significant Other. The first single “Nookie,” was a runaway hit.
The success of this single however would spawn the first of many scandals that would plague Limp Bizkit. It was rumored radio stations were offered payola to play “Nookie” multiple times (some stations played the songs three times in a row), and that this was a factor in the song’s success. Some radio disc jockeys claim Universal (the parent company of Interscope) was paying fifty dollars to programming directors every time “Nookie” was played. Limp Bizkit and Interscope have repeatedly denied this story however, and further note there is no evidence supporting such claims.
More scandal would follow in the same year. In the summer of 1999, Limp Bizkit played Woodstock '99. During their set 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 confirmed reports of multiple rapes and sexual assaults during the set. Tensions ran high and violence continued to occur, culminating in blazes and looting by the end of the show. Some concert goers claim singer Fred Durst had incited the violence. Fred Durst has stated that none of the comments he made that day were intended to cause violence. The issues was later addressed in the video for the single 'Rearranged', which featuring the band being judged and 'executed' for the Woodstock debacle.
Controversy soon started to overshadow their music. In that same year Fred Durst would become involved in feuds with Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails, and with the band Slipknot. Marilyn Manson and Trent Reznor mocked Fred Durst in the Nine Inch Nails music video for “Starfuckers, Inc.” (also mocked in the video were Billy Corgan and Manson himself. The brunt of the mockery was, however, directed at Courtney Love).
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 is also contracted to Interscope records); this comment caused an uproar. People claimed Durst practiced 'mafia' style business tactics. These accusations became more frequent after an associate of the band Taproot released a threatening message 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.
The band again became mired in controversy in 2001 during a tour of Australia with the Big Day Out rock festival. At the Sydney concert, teenage girl Jessica Michalik was crushed to death by fans rushing the stage. It was claimed that Durst was urging the crowd on, or that he failed to attempt to calm the crowd.
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 buzz for the album; his prediction was accurate, as both songs were hits. (A remix of “Rollin’” featured Method Man, Redman and DMX was a minor club hit). The album sold very well.
The bandsupported the album with a headlining tour named Back To Basics. In this tour the only thing separating the band from the fans was a tall metal fence. On top of that, the shows were sponsored by Napster, so they were free. In 2001 Limp Bizkit seemed to be cracking at the seams. Borland was playing with his side project Big Dumb Face, and during interviews expressed dissatisfaction with Limp Bizkit. He was tired of the constant feuding, and furthermore, did not want to feud with or disparage Reznor, who Borland greatly admired. By the summer of 2001 he left Limp Bizkit. He told MTV news in an interview that Limp Bizkit was a 'sell out band' and Fred Durst had become a bit of an egomaniac.
This was seen as a major blow: Borland was often cired as a vital creative force in the group, due in part to his eclecticism.
After Borland’s departure, Limp Bizkit held auditions for a new guitarist. Thousands of hopefuls lined up at record and guitar shops for a chance to audition. Limp Bizkit was criticized for requiring all guitarists to sign waivers giving Limp Bizkit ownership of any riffs or interesting guitar parts performed by those auditioning.
On March 7, 2003 Limp Bizkit would perform their first new material in two years live at WWE's Wrestlemania XIX. Not only that, Limp Bizkit had signed up for some live tours, despite lacking a guitarist. On March 26, Durst wrote in a post on the official website: 'We are playing wrestlemania this weekend. on the guitars will be head from KoRn 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 Mike Smith would be the official guitarist.
Mike Smith then went on to tour with the band and help contribute to at least five songs on ‘’Results May Vary’’. Durst, Rivers 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. Although this album didn't match previous successes, it still sold over two million copies, and reached number three on the Billboard Magazine charts. Critical response remained mixed, however; one reviewer stated that the record 'suffers from an utter lack of form and direction' 4 (http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=10:6xsyxddb4olj~T1) A cover version of The Who's Behind Blue Eyes was very successful on the radio charts, but no video or CD single was ever released for 'Almost Over' due to Mike Smith leaving the band. It is believed that no further singles are planned from 'Results May Vary' due to Wes Borland returning to the band.
During July of 2004 various rumours started circulating on the internet that Mike Smith had left Limp Bizkit, and that Wes Borland had been reported to have been jamming with the band. By July 8, theprp.com made an official report that Wes Borland was recording with the band in London, however this was still regarded only as a rumour right up until August 13 2004.
No official statement was released but Limp Bizkit's website went offline, and was replaced by a webpage that displayed huge photos of the band. Smith was absent, but Borland was there, jamming with the band with the date written underneath. Since then, on the 13th of every month new photos have been uploaded, still showing Borland in the band.
On the 15th of August, two days after showing Wes Borland jamming with the band on their official site, Fred Durst announced Mike Smith's departure from the band in an exclusive interview with thearmpit.net, stating '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.'
Limp Bizkit are currently recording a new album, with their Three Dollar Bill, Y'all producer Ross Robinson as seen in photos posted on the 13th of September and Wes Borland as their guitarist.
This biography is published under the GNU Licence
Items to buy by Limp Bizkit