The relief felt after overcoming a great obstacle is tremendous. Students know that feeling after they turn in a 20-page term paper. Long-distance runners get a taste after completing the 26th mile of a marathon. Fred Durst can relate.
After nearly two years in the making, Limp Bizkit have finally released Results May Vary. The loss of original guitarist Wes Borland had something to do with the creative lull and recording delay after 2000's Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water. So did finding his replacement in former Snot axeman Mike Smith. But perhaps the biggest problem Limp Bizkit faced was their frontman's own perfectionism.
"I never really feel like I finish anything," Durst said. "You set deadlines for yourself, and we pushed those deadlines a few times because we didn't feel like we could live with ourselves with where we were. We had to keep going. And by the time we got to the point where we were comfortable enough to live with what we'd done, we created a deadline. And [eventually] that deadline became a reality."
One would think that after creating the music, writing the lyrics, overseeing the mix and assisting with the artwork, Durst would be more than happy to get Limp Bizkit's fourth studio album out of his hair, and he was. But the overwhelming feeling of relief was slightly tempered by a desire to go back in there for just one more tweak.
"When you get to that deadline where you've turned it in and they're going to print CDs, there's a feeling of, 'F---, I can't change anything.' But at the same time, it's a feeling of relief because you can't change anything. There's nothing you can do about it anymore. And now it's feedback time. Now, it's opinion time.
" 'You guys have been gone for so long,' he continued, approximating the take of one of his fans. 'We're listening to this to see if you totally f---ed up or if you delivered an album.' So at this point, we just know we're getting ready to be hit by a whole 'nother storm."
As has become clear from interviews and the new songs he debuted on the Summer Sanitarium Tour, including Limp Bizkit's cover of "Behind Blue Eyes" that will serve as the album's second single (see "Fred Durst, Halle Berry Suck Face In 'Behind Blue Eyes' Clip"), the message Durst floats by most unsubtly on Results May Vary is that he's a misunderstood sensitive guy beneath those tattoos, the angry scowl and the baseball cap.
Songs such as "Underneath the Gun," which explains the myriad pressures to which he's subjected; "Down Another Day," a depressing reflection that pleads, "I'll never let you down"; and "Lonely World," an over-the-shoulder glance at his past, which wasn't nearly as forlorn as his present, reveal a Durst diametrically opposed to the one who psychotically threatens to "eat you alive" on the album's first single (see "Fred Durst Kidnaps Latest Celebrity Crush In New Bizkit Clip").
It seems Durst's pleas for comfort may have come true, thanks to someone special who recently came into his life. Although he didn't reveal many particulars, she left him wearing rose-colored lenses on the day Results May Vary dropped.
"Something has happened to me recently and I'm really at a different place," he divulged. "I believe life is just one big journey of love, and love has two sides to it. There's ups and downs, and I just feel something really positive has happened to me. I feel like my life is starting over.
"Someone has come into my life that I really feel like, for once in my life, that I really, really bond with like I've never bonded with anybody," he continued. "And it's making my creative process and my ambition and drive and everything just very positive. And it's very overwhelming for me."
Only time will tell how long the man who made his career out of unleashing anger in a furious gush will lay off the Hatorade, but in the meantime, the sun shines brighter, the roses smell sweeter and the beats are just that much better for Fred Durst.
For a feature on Limp Bizkit, check out "All Up In Limp Bizkit's Bizness."