Originally posted on tonedeaf.com.au
They are loved by many and hated by others it’s that very duality that drives nu-metalers Limp Bizkit, who formed in Jacksonville, Florida in the ‘90s.
Having blown up globally with career-defining records likeSignificant Other, and Chocolate Starfish And The Hot Dog Flavoured Water, the rap-rock group have developed a controversial reputation; mostly due to vocalist Fred Durst’s lyrics which have been described as obscene.
The band made an appearance at the national Soundwave festival in 2012 and are returning Down Under for their first ever set of headlining Australian shows later this month.
After minor lineup changes and a somewhat recent resurfacing to the world, Limp Bizkit are preparing to release their brand new album Stampede Of The Disco Elephants, a follow-up to their returning record; Gold Cobra.
Guitarist Wes Borland is pleased with the production of the latest record. “The last few pieces are falling into place, the icing on the cake” the guitarist metaphorically explains.
“The vocals are happening at the moment and then it’s being mixed so I’d say it is like 75% to 80% finished at this point.”
After working under some level of pressure to produce a fan-appreciated album in Gold Cobra, Borland expressed a sense of freedom with the latest record. “I think that there’s a new, fun kind of care-free element that hasn’t existed in our writing since the first album [1997’s Three Dollar Bill, Y’all].”
This newfound sense of freedom, has awarded the group a triumphant return to the music scene, and Borland admits he and his bandmates are “just trying new things and being a little bit more experimental.”
In 2012 the band signed to Cash Money Records which seemed unusual to fans as the roster contains mostly hip-hop artists like Lil Wayne – who features on their track ‘Ready To Go’ released earlier this year.
Borland applauds the approach taken by the label in allowing the band a high level of autonomy with Stampede Of The Disco Elephants.
“There hasn’t been a lot of label infiltration or questioning of what we’re doing which makes it work.”
With a fairly dominant roster of hip-hop artists, the nu-metalers found some amusement in the producers’ reaction to yheir live show dynamic.
“They had never been to a rock show before so when we played in New York, it was cool to just boggle their minds. They saw the mosh pit and the crowd going bananas so it was really interesting to hear what they had to say after the show” Borland cheekily admits.
While they’ve stayed true to their rock-infused roots, there has been one change to their live show recently with the departure of DJ Lethal who was in the band from 1996-2012.
“We’re just not in a place where it was working anymore with him and we just couldn’t sit on the same page, so as of right now he’s not with us,” the 38-year-old admits..
“We may have him back at some point – and he may feel like he’s ready to come back but as of right now, it’s just going to be the remaining four of us” as Durst and Borland are completed by John Otto on drums and Sam Rivers on bass.
After spending some time in the studio, the four musicians have been deciding on what to include in their upcoming tour setlist, but the design may be a little selfish. “I’m sure that we’ll be rehearsing all of the new tracks but we’ve really played a lot of our catalogue over the last couple of tours,” the guitarist reminisces.
“We really changed the set drastically from night to night and were including songs that we hadn’t played in years off the first two albums.”
“It’s not a good feeling for them to go ‘oh what’s this?’ looking confused, and it kind of takes some of the motion away from the show.”
Australia will certainly be embracing the classics on the upcoming tour, just like they did at Soundwave last year. For Limp Bizkit it wasn’t as joyous an experience as it may have been for fans though.
It was the band’s first time back on Oz soil since the controversial incident where Jessica Michalik was crushed to death in their mosh pit at the 2001 Big Day Out in Sydney.
“It was heartbreaking in a lot of ways so to meet Jessica’s dad and have him at several of the shows, it was tough but it was like fixing something that had been wrong for a long time,” the relieved musician reveals.
“It was great to come back and have a successful run with no incidents and reset the [associations] that we had with Australia.”
Borland says the rest of the band felt a sense of catharsis after the Soundwave shows. “Meeting Jessica’s family and her friends who had been there at the show with her was a big healing for all of us.”
With that weight lifted off their shoulders, the band has scheduled the upcoming Australian tour. “I let Fred take care of the business side of things, so I guess he decided we were ready to come back – but I’m certainly glad that we’re coming back now.”
With a tight time slot during their appearance at 2012’s Soundwave festival, Borland is stoked for Limp Bizkit’s first ever headline tour in Australia, without time restrictions.
“When we headline shows, we get a lot deeper into our catalogue but we’re still going to be playing a lot of songs that were singles over the years. We’re going to have some fun so it’s definitely more of a party atmosphere as far as our headline shows go.”
The guitarist, who is usually seen in a full body suit on stage suggests punters keep their eyes peeled on the upcoming tour. “My costume this year is going to be something that nobody has ever seen before which I’m pretty excited about.”
So if you like surprises, fast-paced nu-metal and have the urge to ‘Break Stuff’, you ought to check out a Limp Bizkit show near you.