Limp Bizkit played a huge role in the popularity of the nu metal, rap-rock genre in the mid-90s. Telling everyone what they could do with their “cookies,” the band found success with the smooth rap and calculated aggressiveness of their hit single, “Nookie.” Led by Fred Durst and supported by the skilled guitar playing of Wes Borland, bass player Sam Rivers and drummer John Otto, Limp Bizkit have released six studio albums since their start in 1994 and are currently working on their seventh. Though not always critical darlings, they have consistently made the music they wanted to. Read on to find out more about Limp Bizkit, and stay tuned for part two, coming soon.
Number One: They Got Their Start Covering George Michael. Limp Bizkit’s first single was a cover of George Michael’s “Faith,” which was featured on their debut album, Three Doller Bill, Y’all$. Their version’s sung verses and screamed chorus, the band makes the song their own and shows the world just what they are about. Borland has noted that George Michael does not approve of the cover or the band.
Number Two: Their Name is Meant to Turn People Off. When coming up with a name, they wanted to choose something that would put people off and make them think the band was terrible. “Limp Bizkit” is not even the most jarring name they came up with. They could have been named Split “D***slit” or “Blood Fart.”
Number Three: Their Big Break was Opening for Korn. Durst met the band while Korn was in town for a show. He had asked if he could hang out backstage and tattoo them. A persuasive A&R man, Durst was able to get Fieldy to listen to his demo. Korn was impressed enough that they invited the unsigned band to open for them on two tours. The tours opened the band up to new audiences and afforded them the opportunity to sign a record deal with Interscope Records imprint, Flip.
Number Four: Their Third Album Broke a Sales Record. While not their first number one album (Significant Other reached number one in its first week), Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water sold more than a million copies in its first week, breaking the record for highest first-week sales of a rock album. The record had previously been held for seven years by Pearl Jam.
Number Five: Wes Borland Left the Band to Become a Lead Singer. When Wes Borland parted ways with Limp Bizkit, he started working on a number of unsuccessful side projects, as well as the beginnings of a solo album. After briefly returning to Limp Bizkit, he started a band called Black Light Burns in which he was the lead singer. Black Light Burns ultimately became his main band.
Number Six: Wes Borland’s Contacts Are Made by the Same Company Who Makes Costumes for Babylon 5. Besides his incredible guitar skills, Wes Borland is also known for his onstage costumes. In particular, he wears black contacts that make his eyes look vacant. These are custom contacts made for him by the same people who work on contacts for Babylon 5.
Number Seven: Borland is the Only Member of Limp Bizkit Anyone Takes Seriously. Limp Bizkit have never really been media darlings. Most of their albums have been panned by critics as being uninspired. But Borland’s guitar playing has been one of the band’s only bright spots. Borland regularly plays six and seven-string guitars in experimental ways. On Limp Bizkit’s debut album, he played without a pick, instead playing rhythm with one hand and melody with the other.
Number Eight: Fred Durst is a Film Director. During Limp Bizkit’s hiatus in 2006, Durst tried his hand at acting and directing. He has had a few acting roles, including a small role in a couple of episodes of House M.D. and a costarring role in Population 436. Durst make his directorial debut with The Education of Charlie Banks in 2007. His second film, The Longshots, was 2008.
Number Nine: Durst Also Directed a Series of EHarmony Commercials. In 2014, He created three commercials for the online dating platform. One of the spots features two kids talking to EHarmony CEO Neil Clark Warren. Another features the throwing of a wedding bouquet. The spots are funny and unexpected from a musician whose work has been about aggression for 20 years.
Number Ten: DJ Lethal Was Once a Member of the Band. Best known for his work as one half of House of Pain, DJ Lethal joined Limp Bizkit in 1996 at the suggestion of Wes Borland. DJ Lethal was able to experiment with his turntable and sampling in an environment other than hip-hop and was able to bring a new and different style to the rock band. He officially left the band in 2012.
Number Eleven: Their Music Was Given the String Treatment. Vitamin String Quartet paid tribute to Limp Bizkit with a full cover album. Break Stuff: The String Quartet Tribute to Limp Bizkit, released in 2004, features string covers of “My Way,” “N 2 Gether Now,” and “Break Stuff,” among others.
Number Twelve: Interscope Records Paid a Radio Station to Play the Band’s Music. Before the release of Three Dollar Bill, Y’all!, Interscope wanted to get Limp Bizkit’s song “Counterfeit” on the radio in Portland, so they paid the station $5,000 to play the song 50 times. It worked, but the choice was quite controversial. Even Fred Durst thought this bit of payola was not a good idea.
Number Thirteen: They Had a Brief Falling Out with Eminem. Eminem had been friends with the Florida band before 2000, even making a brief appearance in their “Break Stuff” music video. However, Fred Durst and DJ Lethal got caught in the middle of Eminem’s feud with Everlast. Eminem ended up dissing them in D12’s song “Girls,” and as well as briefly in his 2002 track “Without Me.”
Number Fourteen: Fred Durst Can Be Heard on Korn’s Follow the Leader. Durst has had the opportunity to work with a number of artists during Limp Bizkit’s popularity, many of which were hip-hop artists, such as Method Man and Red Man. But Durst has also been able to collaborate with rock artists. He was featured on a song on Soulfly’s debut album. Notably, he also appears on Korn’s Follow the Leader, having taken the place of Cyprus Hill’s B-Real, whose record label would not let him collaborate with the band. Durst can be heard trading insults with Jonathan Davis on the track “All in the Family.” Davis has also appeared in a handful of Limp Bizkit’s videos, since the two of them are close friends.
Number Fifteen: Their Set at Woodstock ’99 Got a Bit Rowdy. When Limp Bizkit played at Woodstock ’99, there were nearly 200,000 people watching them. Things got a big out of hand when the band started to play “Break Stuff” and people actually started doing just that. Limp Bizkit got blamed for the chaos that ensued and Durst felt like they were being used as scapegoats. Durst decided to address the issue artistically with the concept for the “Re-Arranged” video, which featured the band members as prisoners being executed for their crimes by being drowned in milk. Thank you for reading our list of 15 interesting facts about Limp Bizkit. We hope you enjoyed it!