Despite a cancellation and a police arrest, approximately 500 people in three
cities have put their guitars where their mouths are so far, and more than a
dozen have gotten to jam with the rhythm section of Limp Bizkit.
In its quest to find a guitarist to replace Wes Borland, the band is
holding open auditions at Guitar Centers in cities all over the country (see "Limp Bizkit Scouring 22 Cities For New Guitarist"). The Put Your Guitar Where Your Mouth Is auditions have drawn an average of 150 players each day in Fresno, California; Clackamas, Oregon; and Seattle, with the try-outs running from approximately 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. in each location.
Bizkit wannabes have been granted between five and 15 minutes to rock for
executives from Flawless Records, Fred Durst's label. String-slingers with the magic were
invited back at the end of the day to play with bassist Sam Rivers and
drummer John Otto while vocalist Fred Durst watched and bobbed his head to
the beat. Those jam sessions ran anywhere from 15 to 45 minutes.
"There was definitely an excitement in the air," Limp Bizkit's manager
Peter Katsis said. "Kids are definitely seeing this as a unique opportunity to
display their talent in front of some people who could really make something
happen. A lot of them are bringing their CDs and pushing their bands just as
hard as they're trying to get in Limp Bizkit because they see what's
happened with Puddle of Mudd. From that viewpoint, everything that's going
on is exciting."
"It's all about the feel, man," Durst said right before the first audition
in El Cerrito, California. "There's no looks. We're definitely not looking
for Limp Bizkit Wes Borland clones. It's just if you like what they're doing
you look at them like, 'Dude, something's cool about that cat.' "
Outside the El Cerrito audition room a sign read, "No solos!" Other than
that, there were no rules. Some auditioned with their own songs, others
improvised riffs and some were invited to play along with a computerized
Otto drum loop. Durst seemed especially intent on keeping it loose.
"When you came in, what did you think it would be like?" Durst asked the
first player to audition, Chandon Pennington. "Did you think you would start
shredding or did you think we wanted you to play Limp Bizkit songs?"
The guitarist shrugged, and Durst continued. "We're trying to get some
feedback so we can know how to run smoother. Do it however people want.
Beats to put on, shred, play one of your songs, whatever. What do you
"This is the weirdest experience I've ever had in my life," Pennington
sheepishly replied. "It's like all my guitar-playing years have come to
this point. This is like the pinnacle."
Then Pennington started cranking out chunky metallic riffs reminiscent of
Megadeth. Moments later, Durst left the room. Pennington was not invited
back at the end of the day.
Although Limp Bizkit and their handlers have already checked out around 500
guitarists and are planning to continue the auditions in Boise, Idaho,
Wednesday (January 16) and Salt Lake City, Utah, on Thursday, the proceedings haven't been entirely glitch-free.
The January 11 date in Concord, California, had to be postponed because
organizers lacked the proper permit. And on January 13, Durst was attacked
in Clackamas, Oregon.
The band was returning to the guitar store following a food break when
18-year-old Richard Petrillo skirted past a throng of fans getting
autographs from the band and hit Durst in the back of the head with a coconut cream
pie. Two of Limp Bizkit's bodyguards helped detain the perp while sheriff's
deputies assigned to the event handcuffed him, a spokesperson for the
Clackamas Sheriff's Office said. Petrillo was taken to the police
station and placed in a cell for under an hour before being charged with
disorderly conduct and five counts of harassment.
Despite the temporary chaos, the Put Your Guitar Where Your Mouth Is
auditions have been a success for all involved especially those who have
gotten to jam with the band.
"It was incredible," said 20-year-old Aaron Tollefsou, who used the name
"West Morland" for his Clackamas audition. "It was kind of awkward playing
with new people at first and I didn't really know what to play, so I just
played some of my stuff. But it was really great and it gives me more
confidence in what I'm doing [with my band Kattis Fly] knowing that Limp
Bizkit like what I'm doing."
Tollefsou added that although he was anxious about meeting his idols, Durst
quickly allayed his fears.
"I talked to him for 20 minutes about music and stuff in general," he said.
"He's a pretty cool dude. He knows a lot about music and we're on the same
wavelength. He definitely wasn't intimidating at all. He was very easy to
talk to and really laid back. He definitely made it an easy experience."
Seattle finalist Amy Stolzenbach, 32, who plays in an all-female
AC/DC tribute band called Hell's Belles (see "AC/DC's Angus Young Spotted In Miniskirt"), had an equally positive experience.
"As a musician you always want to challenge yourself and make yourself do
something you haven't done before. So it was kind of like the next step for
me to play with a band that's of that level," she said. "I'm a fan of their
rhythm section. Sam and John are really, really tight, so it was nice
to play with good musicians. The whole vibe was really, really laid back."
Stolzenbach is realistic about her chances of making it to the final
audition round, which will be held after the final Put Your Guitar Where
Your Mouth Is date in Los Angeles on February 11. Still, she's hopeful that
this just might be her lucky break.
"If they were to choose me, I would join them in a heartbeat," she said. "The
demographic that they're playing to is mostly male, so it would be a cool
challenge to be a female guitarist in that environment. And Fred Durst did
say at one point that he thought it would be really cool to find a female
guitar player. That's why I even auditioned in the first place."