LOS ANGELES -- As Limp Bizkit's single "Nookie" prospers at both
alternative- and active-rock radio, the Jacksonville, Fla., quintet has
reason to be optimistic about its sophomore album, Significant
But frontman Fred Durst said nothing's come too easily for his rap-metal
band -- and the bandmembers have the calluses to prove it.
"It's cool what's happening to us," Durst said earlier this year, after
the band scored its first major hit with a revved-up cover of George
Michael's "Faith." "We've done a lot of groundwork, toured a lot, dealt
with a lot of sh-- [and] a lot of people telling us they couldn't stand
us. Those same people are praising us now, and that's pretty funny."
Durst, 28, said "Nookie" (RealAudio
excerpt) is one of several songs on the band's sophomore album,
Significant Other, that were inspired by a failed relationship.
"It's about my ex-girlfriend, how she treated me like sh--, and I couldn't
leave her, wouldn't get over it," he said. "She screwed my friends and
used me for my money. I tried to figure out why I did it, and I figured
I did it all for the nookie."
Nevertheless, Durst's girlfriend woes spawned an unmistakable hit.
"Nookie" is rising on Radio & Records' alternative- and
active-rock charts simultaneously, last week scoring the #15 slot on the
former and #17 slot on the latter.
Radio & Records rock editor Cyndee Maxwell suggested Limp Bizkit's
with-a-bullet status on both charts is something special. "Certainly the
majority of records that are targeting this [18-to-34-year-old] audience
don't do this at the same time," she said, noting that funk-rockers the
Red Hot Chili Peppers are also among the minority of bands that scored
in both formats right off the bat.
It's more common, Maxwell said, that a band will break in one format
first before crossing over to another, citing the hard-rock band
Buckcherry as an example. Buckcherry's single "Lit Up" hit #1 at active
rock before it began bleeding over to the alternative-rock side, she
Significant Other is Limp Bizkit's follow-up to the 1997 album
Three Dollar Bill Y'all$, which has sold 1.5 million copies and
features their cover of "Faith" (RealAudio
excerpt). The band co-produced the new effort with Terry Date
(Pantera, White Zombie) and mixed it with Brendan O'Brien (Pearl Jam,
Stone Temple Pilots).
Durst and bassist Sam Rivers formed Limp Bizkit in 1994, bringing in
Rivers' cousin John Otto on drums and Wes Borland on guitar.
DJ Lethal, formerly of House of Pain, later signed on to supplement the original group.
Though Durst gives credit to like-minded rap-rock act Korn for helping
pave the way for Limp Bizkit's success, the singer expressed
confidence that Significant Other will distinguish his group from
other rap-metal hybrid bands.
"This record is something we're proud of, because it's gonna separate
us," Durst predicted. "We're still in the family, but we're not going to
be considered one and the same anymore."
The paths of Limp Bizkit and Korn first crossed in 1995, when Durst, a
tattoo artist, gave Korn bassist Red "Fieldy" Arvizu several tattoos
after a Korn show in the Jacksonville area. The next time Korn came
through the northeastern Florida town, they picked up Limp Bizkit's
demo tape and later passed it on to their producer, Ross Robinson. Labels
came calling soon afterward, and the band chose to sign with Flip/Interscope.
On Significant Other, Limp Bizkit offer an impressive guest list.
"N2gether Now" (RealAudio
excerpt) features rhymes by Wu-Tang Clan rapper Method Man and
production by DJ Premier of Gang Starr, while Stone Temple Pilots vocalist
Scott Weiland and Korn frontman Jonathan Davis both sing alongside Durst
on "Nobody Like You."
"It's crazy the chemistry that just happened," Durst said of the
collaboration with Weiland and Davis. According to Durst, the recording
session was sparked when Weiland suggested they all go into the studio
vocal booth and "just freak it."
An adaptation of "Turn Me Loose" -- a song originally recorded by '80s
pop-rock band Loverboy -- featured controversial rapper Eminem, but it
did not make the album.
Durst said Limp Bizkit's incessant roadwork in 1998 helped the band
refine and tighten its sound to a point far beyond Three Dollar
Bill. "Oh man, it's another level," he said, when asked to compare
Significant Other with its predecessor. "It's more mature. ...The
hip-hop's more hip-hop and the melodies are more melodic. It's crazy."
Limp Bizkit, who are currently on the road with rapper Kid Rock, will
headline the second annual Family Values tour this fall.