Originally posted at www.greatfallstribune.com
Limp Bizkit has always been a band that polarizes music fans.
Some feverishly crave the hybrid of hip-hop and metal and look at the songs as anthems on how to party properly and get rowdy with the boys. Others downplay the music as nothing more than a product of an angry egomaniac known for wearing a backwards red cap.
The same man who sang about doing it all for the nookie and pleaded with someone to offer up their face as something to break says he’s just a regular guy who is blessed to be able to both inspire and ignite audiences.
For Durst, it’s simply about conveying emotions that run deep.
“I’m still me. I’m just a messenger,” Durst said in an interview with the Tribune from a tour stop in Buffalo, N.Y. “I’m sort of the same guy. I feel like the core of me is who I am when I was born.
“I know I was dealt a very interesting hand as someone who was going to be bullied and tortured. That’s been going on since I was a little kid,” he added. “That’s not gonna change. I’m a person who’s put on the world to arouse bullies and there’s something very interesting about my existence. I have that thing about me that just riles up people who love to abuse people.”
It’s been easy to look at Durst as a poster child and spokesman for the disenfranchised youth over the years. He’s never thought about himself as a voice for those youngsters who are looking for inspiration against The Man, rather he sees himself as being a young soul and it translates to the music sometimes.
“I’m very young at heart,” the 42-year-old Durst said. “I still skateboard all the time. I have a halfpipe. I can still break dance. I don’t even wanna be (the voice of the disenfranchised).
“I used to feel responsible for the music. Why are these guys out there? I hate these guys in the red caps that are beating up the other fans. What are they doing? They’re missing the point,” he said. “The irony’s insane.”
In the coming months, the band will release its seventh album, “Stampede of the Disco Elephants,” which already has produced the single “Ready To Go.”
Durst admits that the band has never really been fond of recording albums, preferring the vibe of playing live. Still, each record is a time capsule for the members of the band, and “Stampede of the Disco Elephants” is no different.
“When you make records, you go in for that short period of time. We like to go in under pressure and just go big brother style and just live together and get it done and get out and we capture those moments whether good or bad,” Durst said. “For us, that’s what’s magical about these moments.”
The core of Bizkit mostly has been Durst, drummer John Otto and guitarist Wes Borland, known not just for his riffs but for his shtick of showing up for gigs painted in ghoulish fashion.
Borland has been on again and off again with the band since it first formed, occasionally taking time off to front his own band, Black Light Burns. Durst respects Borland and knows that the band is at its best when the two of them are together.
“I hand plucked him. I knew that I wanted to work with that guy. He’s so creative and different,” Durst said of Borland. “I knew that he was my Eddie Van Halen, if I wanna compare it to David Lee Roth.”
Perhaps the most welcome thing about working with Borland is the back and forth the two artists have when they write together. There’s no pulling punches or yes men in the process.
According to Durst, they bring the best out of each other.
“Some of us have a vision, and we want to see it through and we want people to cooperate with it but we want people to say ‘That’s probably not a great idea, why don’t you try this?’” Durst said. “That’s the collaboration that you quest for.
“When I come in full steam ahead, and I’ve got that vision, a lot of people don’t have that (honesty) and they just go ‘OK.” After a while, you get very lonely,” he added. “I need a balancing board. I can tell you ‘That’s not the riff. That ain’t the beat. Keep going. That bass line’s cool, but try it higher.’ Pulling it out of people. I feel like maybe I was meant to be a producer. Obviously not a singer.”
Durst, who admits to turning down a $3 million advertising deal back in the day with a beer company because “I don’t drink that kind of beer,” said he’s proud of the integrity he and his bandmates have kept all these years and how they never compromised to please anyone outside of the band.
“I can sleep at night knowing I stayed true to who I am and with the vision. The music just happens with Limp Bizkit, let’s get that straight. We don’t walk around listening to rap rock or anything like it,” Durst said.
“The feeling that we get when we get together, it’s just incredible. We look in each other’s eyes so many times and have these unbelievable moments,” he explained. “It’s something that’s a rush that you can’t replace. It’s like a drug without doing drugs. I’m very grateful and happy to keep going.”