Does the return of Limp Bizkit to our shores in 2018 mean the nu-metal revival is happening? All signs point to… maybe.
For a brief moment in music history, Limp Bizkit’s star shone bright. They were the angry princes of a new genre that fused rap and rock. Some called it rap-rock, while others preferred the term nu-metal. That was almost 20 years ago, and the genre – whatever you called it – has long since given way to newer trends in popular music. Now it’s poised for a comeback, and with Limp Bizkit just announced to return to New Zealand in March, 2018 could be the year.
Hang on a minute – I assumed Limp Bizkit broke up about 20 years ago?
The band’s star may have faded as nu-metal fell out of musical fashion in the early-2000s, but they never fully threw in the towel – though there was a four-year hiatus following the release of 2005’s Greatest Hitz compilation. Post-hiatus the band have released one new album, 2011’s Gold Cobra, and have been working on its follow-up Stampede of the Disco Elephants since 2012. The still-to-be-released album’s first single ‘Ready To Go’ featuring Lil Wayne was released way back in 2013.
Is it still all the same guys, and does the guitarist still wear spooky masks?
The only golden-era Limp Bizkit member not in the current line-up is DJ Lethal, who left the band in 2013. Guitarist Wes Borland, notorious for his elaborate costumes incorporating body paint and masks, did leave the band in 2001, but returned to record 2004’s The Unquestionable Truth (Part 1) EP and was there when they returned from hiatus in 2009. Recent band photos show him painted and masked-up and looking as scary as ever. Fred Durst is obviously still the vocalist, though his millennium-era facial hair has been filled out to a full salt-and-pepper beard, and his trademark red baseball cap has been shelved to allow for different colourways. Founding members Sam Rivers and John Otto are keeping the rhythm authentic on bass and drums respectively.
I thought everybody had agreed that nu-metal / rap-rock / whatever it’s called was a huge mistake. Why is it making a comeback?
Every musical genre has its day, and most come back into fashion eventually. Undeniable traces of Limp Bizkit can be heard in the music of many contemporary acts like Lil Peep (‘Awful Things’) and Issues (‘Stingray Affliction’). If we apply the ‘Rule of 20’ – that is, all styles or trends revolve in and out of fashion on a roughly 20 year cycle – Limp Bizkit are positioned right on the cusp of rediscovery by a new generation, and reappraisal from a generation who haven’t touched their CD wallets since the iPod came out. Their first album, Three Dollar Bill, Y’all$, was released in 1997, and the band first experienced mainstream success with their cover of George Michael’s ‘Faith’ in 1998. Their undeniable heyday was from 1999-2003, beginning with the release of the game-changing ‘Nookie’ and ending with another cover, of The Who’s ‘Behind Blue Eyes’.
Weird that two of their biggest hits were covers of George Michael and The Who. Did they release any others?
Not as singles, but the final track on their Greatest Hitz compilation is a medley of ‘Home Sweet Home’ by Mötley Crüe and ‘Bittersweet Symphony’ by The Verve.
Apart from Lil Wayne, what other rappers did the Bizkit work with?
Method Man is a friend of the band, appearing on ‘N 2 Gether Now’ off Significant Other and on the ‘Urban Assault Vehicle’ remix of Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavoured Water hit ‘Rollin’’ alongside DMX and Redman. 2001’s New Old Songs compiled an album’s worth of Limp Bizkit remixes by the likes of DJ Premier, Diddy, Timbaland and The Neptunes. You know you want to hear a ‘Frontin’’-era Pharrell rework of ‘Nookie’.
OK, in the words of Fred Durst: ‘fuck it’. I’m going to give Limp Bizkit another go. Where do I start?
1999’s Significant Other is probably the ‘classic album’, the one you’d buy the 180 gram vinyl reissue of – though some would argue in favour of Chocolate Starfish. Greatest Hitz lives up to its title, and until the endlessly-delayed Stampede of the Disco Elephants ever sees the light of day, 2011’s Gold Cobra remains the best example of late-period Limp Bizkit.
Limp Bizkit play the Storm The Gates Festival at Trusts Arena in Auckland on 17 March.
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