A cover of George Michael's "Faith" helped catapult sales of Three Dollar Bill Y'all over the 2 million mark and gave Limp Bizkit their mainstream breakthrough in 1997. Six years later, Fred Durst has another cover planned.
Those who've seen Limp Bizkit perform on the Summer Sanitarium Tour know the song in question: the Who's "Behind Blue Eyes." At the first few shows of the five-week trek, Limp Bizkit performed a slow verse or two of the tune while Durst cavorted with fans — a poignant moment for a misunderstood malcontent singing a song about being a misunderstood malcontent. Plus he has blue eyes.
You'd think that since the beloved Who classic is slated to appear on Limp Bizkit's first album in almost three years, and since Bizkit's last album featured a song with the same title as the Who's "My Generation," surely Durst must be a fan, right?
"I liked 'Tommy' a lot ... the movie," he said backstage with his bandmates at the Philadelphia stop on Saturday. "And I like some of their songs that were popular. I didn't have any albums that I listened to beginning-to-end. I doubt any of these guys did."
Although Limp Bizkit adapt each show's set to their mood and to the crowd's, "Faith," complete with a mocking George Michael montage, "Behind Blue Eyes" and "Welcome Home (Sanitarium)," by Summer Sanitarium headliners Metallica, have been frequent inclusions. So has a smattering of new songs from their forthcoming follow-up to Chocolate Starfish and the Hotdog Flavored Water, scheduled for September, though signage at the show listed it somewhat dubiously as due in "fall 2003."
Fan reaction to the new Limp Bizkit material has been a little unnerving for Durst, who is accustomed to the pulsing melee that erupts for hits like "Break Stuff," "Rollin' " and "Nookie."
"It's hard playing the new stuff," he said. "Nobody knows it. It's like, 'Hey, you guys want to hear a new song?' And they're like, 'Yeah.' But as soon as you start playing it, they stop and listen because they don't know it. For me that feels like a down moment in the show. So on the days that we decide not to play a new song, we've got our fans saying, 'Why didn't you play any new material?' And then when we do play new material, it's sort of like a lose/lose situation."
At least the camaraderie between the bands has been good, despite some flare-ups in the press. Because the tour routing calls for long drives, Mudvayne, Deftones, Linkin Park and Limp Bizkit don't spend too much time hanging out. (Metallica travel by private jet.) But when they do hang out, the interaction is always welcome.
"They create kind of a trailer park for us," Durst said. "We all hang out like a trailer park community. Because the routing is ridiculous, sometimes we show up right before we have to go on. So it's hard, but we hang out as much as we can. I think we have a camping trip planned for after [the July 20 show in] Montreal. We have like four days off. Hopefully we'll all go camping and do some camping sh-- ... whatever that is."
—Joe D'Angelo, with additional reporting by Gideon Yago