Limp Bizkit were the heavyweight champions of millennial rage. Fred Durst’s explosive cocktail of rap and metal, animosity and aggression, machismo and self-pity tapped into a huge and lucrative well of disaffected suburban anger across the globe. They were the gladiator kings of the Ugly Shit. The New Rude Dudes. They ruled.
Of course, Limp Bizkit were never critical darlings, as the online magazine Salon demonstrated when it called Durst “a rapacious little hunk of jackal spawn with the cold-eye ambition of a corporate raider and the soul of a gnat”.
But the nu-metal emperors wore their America’s Most Hated status like a badge of honour, earning the devotion of fellow misfits and weekend sociopaths everwhere.
The 1999 Woodstock festival riots (during which Limp Bizkit fans were blamed for an orgy of destruction including two rapes), brawls with security guards, public slanging matches with superstar rivals – all helped fuel Fred’s furnace.
This is the wily operator, after all, who turned “I know why you wanna hate me!” into a pride anthem for the post-Columbine generation.
Limp Bizkit have sold over 30 million records worldwide, including over 13 million of their studio album, ‘Chocolate Starfish And The Hot Dog Flavored Water‘. But that was in 2000, and Durst carefully cultivated corporate-punk image has taken a severe battering since then. Like Russel Crowe, rough-edged outsider Fred has taken on the guise of a millionaire superstar scrapper. Victim turned bully.
The ominously long wait for Limp Bizkit’s new album has also piled the strain on to Fred’s burly shoulders. After losing guitarist Wes Borland, being played for a fool by Britney Spears, falling out with Eminem and cancelling their Download Festival show, the band are in perilously isolated position.
‘Results May Vary‘, on the back of a free kiss-and-make-up show in London’s Finsbury Park, plus a payer in Manchester. But after so many wrong turns, unwise outbursts and broken promises, will anyone still care?
“Kiss my ass if you don’t like it”, Durst claimed in 2000, “I am here to fucking stay”. We hear you loud and clear. but many changes occurred in the past few years…