Originally posted on http://www.smh.com.au
Limp Bizkit guitarist Wes Borland has opened up about his grief over the death of fan Jessica Michalik at their show during the 2001 Big Day Out in Sydney, saying it’s something he’ll never get over.
“It was one of the reasons I left the band [in 2001]. It immediately brought this grief . . . it took the colour and the taste out of everything and I realised what we were doing could be incredibly dangerous,” Borland says ahead of the big-selling rap-rock act’s headlining tour of Australia this month.
“I guess it’s like mountain climbing until someone falls, then all of a sudden you realise really bad things [do happen].
“I felt like there was too much damage to [remain] involved; I felt the guilt of murdering someone and of losing someone. It was really life shattering.”
The band’s volatile performance style was found not to be a factor in Michalik’s death by the cororner’s report in 2002, although NSW deputy coroner Jacqueline Milledge said Limp Bizkit frontman Fred Durst should have stopped the show and ‘‘acted more responsibly’’. Milledge said the BDO promoters knew the band’s volatile style and the major issue was the crowd density had been allowed to build to dangerous levels.
But Borland says Limp Bizkit was nervous about returning to Australia for years. A tour here in 2012 to play at Soundwave helped.
“Australia and us: The thought of it had always given me goosebumps, like a ghost had walked through me.
“When we came back and did Soundwave in 2012 [we] got to meet her family and friends to kind of closed old wounds.
“[But] I don’t think you ever recover from that. At least we did a tour in Australia where we didn’t have incident and we got to share our grief with [Jessica Michalik’s] folks and her family.”
This month Limp Bizkit will play material from their upcoming seventh studio album, Stampede of the Disco Elephants, which is due for release in January.
“We’ll probably be playing Ready to Go [which features a rap by Lil Wayne] and we might be releasing another single before the tour starts.” He said the band was now deciding which of three possible tracks would make the best second single from the new album.
Borland, who is as famous for wearing elaborate costumes and full body paint on stage as for his outstanding guitar playing – he was rated the 37th best ever guitarist by Total Guitar magazine – says he’ll be sporting a new look on tour inspired by Australia’s jellyfish.
“What I’m bringing to Australia is my progression of costume building and [on-stage] insanity. In the last few months I’ve jumped forward to version 8.0. It’s a surprise – you’ve never seen anything like it before.”
What’s it inspired by? “Jellyfish. But you’ll have to wait and see.”
Limp Bizkit open their Australian tour on October 25 in Brisbane, play at the Sydney Entertainment Centre on October 26, then at the Festival Hall in Melbourne on October 27, Thebarton Theatre in Adelaide on October 29 and Metro City, Perth on October 31. Tickets are available through ticketmaster.com.au