Fred Durst of Limp Bizkit Talks "Stampede of The Disco Elephants", Tour, Movies, Art, and More
Thu, 16 May 2013 09:48:44
You think you know Fred Durst, but you really don't.
The Limp Bizkit frontman, filmmaker, and visionary's approach is one of the most calculated and creative of any musician from this century, or the last. That's one reason why the band's catalog boasts some of the catchiest fare hard rock or hip-hop has ever seen—from "My Way" and "Rollin'" to their recently released first single for Cash Money Records, "Ready to Go" featuring none other than rap's reigning champ Lil Wayne. Durst has been meticulous every stop of the way, tapping into a genre amalgam that's as undeniable as it is unique. As Limp Bizkit readies its next album Stampede of the Disco Elephants, the outfit has been roving across the country bringing audiences to their feet during a mind-blowing tour of intimate—many of them sold out—venues. Make no mistake about it, they're about to raise the bar again for rock and rap.
"The last thing we want to do is be predictable," smiles Durst from backstage in Chicago.
You have no idea what's next from Limp Bizkit, and that's a wonderful thing…
In this exclusive with ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino, Limp Bizkit main man Fred Durst opens up about the tour, Stampede of the Disco Elephants, and so much more. He even gets philosophical.
You're coming out with the unexpected every night. What's the most gratifying aspect of this tour for you?
I think it's a new perspective on what I used to see as the ultimate plateau. Coming back and looking at it, it's a small venue, and everything is different. I've been exposed to a whole other level and plateau. You appreciate the intimacy and where your head was at when you first ever had the opportunity to be in a room this size. It was so huge to you. You look at it now, and it's so small and much more intimate. There's something very personable about the audience that I don't necessarily think I was aware of at the beginning. You can appreciate it a lot more. You get perspective. That's the coolest part. The synergy is blistering too. It's fun for us to play some of the obscure stuff. There are some core fans that get the chance to connect with those things.
Do you feel like the band is firing on all cylinders?
It feels really tight. For some reason, it seems like the stamina is at an all-time high even though we're a lot older now [Laughs].
Does "Ready To Go" connote that you're ready for the next phase?
It wasn't intentional. It somehow magically lined up to have a meaning with some legs to it. I don't know how it happened. Making the song with Polow da Don, we had this vibe. I realized that as rare as our style, music, and feeling was when it came out, it's even rarer now. That's pretty weird and exciting. This feeling and music is so rare. Right now, it gives Limp Bizkit a chance to exist and connect with people who respond to that type of spirit. It's ironic that we are ready to fucking go. I wish I'd sat down and calculated everything.
For you, how entwined are film and music? Do those artist minds feed off of each other?
Absolutely, visuals and audio go together hand-in-hand. As you keep living and growing, you get a better perspective. Everybody's different. Every single person experiences reality through his or her own individual reality tunnel. For me, it's all connected. Sometimes, it's the audio without the visuals. Other times, it's the visuals without the audio. However, they definitely go hand-in-hand in a way of self-expression and to articulate something that needs to come out of you. My emotions are connected to all my senses. I don't necessarily think touch and smell apply, but it's all part of it. I love it all. Music is one branch on the tree.
Is the catharsis always the same?
I don't know. I'm just compelled to make things happen. I don't know what the purpose is. It's beyond me. I look back at things I've done creatively, and they're just now making sense. In the moment, I'm merely a messenger. Something in my soul is questing to express itself. In its madness, it's a bizarre thing. I have a really intense case of OCD. It's something like what was portrayed in As Good As It Gets. If somebody were to live ten minutes in my head, they'd be like, "This is chaos". I'm actually in control though. I think I figured it out. I think something in the creative part of me has something to do with that. I don't have any answers.
What does Limp Bizkit mean to you in 2013?
Limp Bizkit means that there's consistency within my own being and my life. Pushing through each day, there's continuity in the passion and expression. There's something comforting to me. This isn't contrived. It's still real. It wasn't a moment that just happened. This is really me.
It wasn't just a moment. The band affected so many lives, and there's a palpable excitement around the album and tour. From a fan perspective, it's exciting.
You see that you affected people, and you know you have because you can see the sincerity and the honesty that's unspoken. It's unsung purity. It's an incredible thing. You go, "This is making people feel something. This is giving something to people". They tell you about it, you hear it, and you're grateful it's doing something for people. I've narrowed it down to the fact it allows me to give. It's like you're constantly giving. It puts you in a very interesting place in life where being the most fulfilled is when you're the most empty. As long as you can give it all away, there's a fulfillment there. I'm happy about it. At the same time, I'm very isolated. I think about it, and it's hard to explain. I'm very happy. It happens to me. Other artists will make me feel that way. They've given to me whether they know about it, care about it, or whatever. It's something I'm taking from them that's making me feel that pure, beautiful emotional reaction I like feeling. I don't think about taking it from them at all. I just take it. If I go up to some artist that I feel that way about and let them know, they could be feeling like me and say, "Thanks man, I appreciate that". Who knows how they feel about? I was just a lucky kid who got put on the other side of the barricade. I was in front of the stage just feeling it and knowing I needed it. All of a sudden, I'm back behind the curtain up there giving. It's pretty wild.
If you were to compare Stampede of the Disco Elephants to a movie or a combination of movies, what would you compare it to?
Wow, my goodness…let me see if I can visualize something. Immediately, I got a Lawrence of Arabia-scope of things. My immediate knee jerk reaction would be to say The Shining meets Reservoir Dogs meets Mean Streets meets State of Grace with Terms of Endearment right on top of it all. Maybe that's it…
Sounds like a hell of a movie.
Sounds like an editing nightmare [Laughs].
What comes to mind when you think of Stampede of the Disco Elephants at this phase?
It's really exciting. We just went in and got as dirty as we could. We wrote the most grimy record that was just infectious. We wanted that. I'm already wanting more music though. I want to just keep recording and putting shit out. What's an album? I know we're an "album band". I'm losing my desire to put the whole experience in one bubble. I want to keep going like this continuous saga of life and passion all in it. It's like, "There are four songs here because they had to happen and another song there. There are three videos over there. There are six more sings. Then, there's another song". You look back and you're fucking like, "Oh my God, that was Stampede of the Disco Elephants!" That was just a stampede of massive creativity. That's what I wish it could be. I don't want to put it in a nutshell and move to the next thing. Even though I was born in 1970 and I love my albums, I'm also a product of now, man. I'm not on some linear path. That's what I want it to be. When you look back, it'd be a fucking long album! It's going to be crazy. I want your stream-of-conscious to be your band. That's your portal.
What's your favorite Limp Bizkit song and why?
Check out these other recent Limp Bizkit articles:
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Live Review at Revolution Live in Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Limp Bizkit "Ready To Go" Featuring Lil Wayne Song Review
List: 10 Songs We Hope Limp Bizkit Plays at "Welcome to Rockville" and "Carolina Rebellion
Feature: Albums We Hope Change the Game in 2013 – Limp Bizkit