Limp Bizkit Aim To Break From Metal-Rap Pack

Band is looking to next disc to help establish its unique musical voice.

Somewhere inside Limp Bizkit's metal-rap exterior, there is a group of musicians itching

to make a name for themselves apart from the popular musical hybrid, lead singer Fred

Durst maintains.

And their next album is going to go a long way toward proving that, he

added.

"This record is something we're proud of because it's gonna separate us," the

28-year-old Durst predicted, speaking from a Los Angeles studio. "We're still in the

family, but we're not going to be considered one and the same anymore, I don't think."

Nonetheless, with their forthcoming follow-up to the 1997 debut Three Dollar Bill

Y'all$, the group is staying true to the rap neo-tradition of including a hefty guest list.

The as-yet untitled LP will include contributions from Korn's Jonathan Davis, Stone Temple Pilots' Scott

Weiland, rapper Eminem and, if things go as planned, Wu-Tang Clan member and

mega-rapper Method Man.

Weiland, in fact, has been on hand for much of the recording, providing Durst vocal

advice.

But Durst said that Limp Bizkit won't be lost amid the album's guests.

Rather, he said, this is the album that will establish the Jacksonville

, Fla., quintet's distinctive identity --

without moving it too far from its "family" of like-minded rap-rock acts such as Korn.

Overall, Durst said, the material takes the band to a new level by heightening the

rap and hard-rock dichotomies of their sound. "The hip-hop's more hip-hop and the

melodies are more melodic," he said. "It's everything you like about Limp Bizkit, but to the

next level."

"People are gonna step back when they hear the record and go, 'Wait a minute,' " said

the singer, who was in the studio wrapping up the album's vocal work while his

bandmates -- bassist Sam Rivers, drummer John Otto, guitarist Wes Borland and DJ

Lethal (born Leor DiMant, formerly of House of Pain) -- enjoyed some time off.

Similar expectations were echoed at the band's label, Flip Records. "The feeling here is

that this album will establish them beyond just a metal-rap hybrid, which is what they've

been labeled as," label representative Eric Hunter said. "It's really going to showcase

how much they've matured since the first album and capture the songwriting abilities of

the band, and of Fred."

To achieve their goal of setting themselves apart from the pack, Limp Bizkit will be

careful about the choices they make for the album, Durst said.

For example, the tune "Nobody Like You" would seem an almost guaranteed hit, since it

features both Davis and Weiland singing alongside Durst. But Durst said he doesn't

foresee releasing the song as a single. "That's too much of a given," Durst said. "We still

want cred."

He added that fans in Los Angeles or New York have a good chance of seeing "Nobody

Like You" performed live at some point when its three vocalists can manage to unite

onstage.

"Nobody Like You" was initially supposed to feature only Davis and Durst, but when the

two began writing out their parts in the studio, Weiland suggested they "all just go into

the vocal booth and freak it," Durst recalled. The song grew out of that initial

improvisational session, Durst said, adding that the end product recalls the art-rock of

metal band Tool and the influential '80s rockers Jane's Addiction. "It's the satisfaction

you get out of when Jane's Addiction's Nothing Shocking first touched you -- it's

that kind of vibe," Durst said. "It's really f---ing incredible, with a drum solo in the middle

of the song and a riff going through it. It's crazy; it doesn't sound like anything else."

The forthcoming release also will feature hip-hop newcomer Eminem rapping alongside

Durst on an adaptation of '80s pop-rockers Loverboy's "Turn Me Loose." Wu-Tang's

Method Man was expected to join Durst in the studio for the final week of recording. The

pair will go with whatever feels right, Durst said, promising that the end result will be "a

major crossover hit."

Durst described his lyrical approach this time around as being particularly personal,

citing two songs, "Noogie" and "Rearranged," that were inspired by a destructive former

relationship.

The vocalist said he wanted to reach out to certain listeners by tapping into such

emotions as melancholy, aggravation, fear and betrayal. "The people who feel those

things, those are the people I want to touch," he said. "I want to connect with people who

feel alone, because those kinds of feelings make you feel really alone."

After releasing 1997's Three Dollar Bill, Y'all$, Limp Bizkit garnered some

attention with such singles as "Counterfeit" (RealAudio excerpt). Korn

helped boost awareness of the band by putting them in front of their audience on the

1998 Family Values Tour, which this year Limp Bizkit plan to headline sans the

touring festival's founders.

Limp Bizkit currently are on the singles charts with their biggest hit to date, a roughed-up

cover of George Michael's '80s pop hit "Faith" (RealAudio excerpt).

Fans in the band's hometown, who witnessed Limp Bizkit's progression from local band

to hitmakers, predict that the group's large-scale success has just begun.

"I said three years ago that this band's going to blow up everywhere, that they weren't

just a Jacksonville hometown band," Jackie Bakke, 20, said. "We used to all hang out at

the same bar called Dante's, and now they're all living large, hanging out with Korn -- it's

crazy. I think now that they have a lot more exposure, people are going to stand up and

take notice now. We're all antsy for the next one."

Limp Bizkit's sophomore album is expected to hit stores in late May, along with a home

video directed and edited by Durst that will feature footage from the studio.