Fred Durst is the singer for the band Limp Bizkit who burst on to the music scene in 1997 with their ground breaking album “Three Dollar Bill” which featured a unique blend of hip hop meets heavy metal. The band is set to release its 7th studio album titled “Stampede of the Disco Elephants” later this year and Media Mikes had the chance to talk with Fred about the release, working with Lil’ Wayne and the bands current tour plans.
Adam Lawton: Can you give us an update on the bands upcoming album?
Fred Durst: We are putting the final touches on it right now. I hope to find a nice little spot at the end of summer to put it out. We recently put out the song “Ready to Go” from the album which is one of the more urban songs we did with Lil’ Wayne. The album is kind of a nod to the old days of the band’s sound. There are a lot of cool riffs that sound monstrous. The album is very inspired and honest.
AL: What were the recording sessions like for the album?
FD: Once we signed with Cash Money Records they told to just be ourselves and do what we do. That empowered us with the freedom to be the band that’s passionate about playing live. We went in to the studio with no preconceived notions about delivering a pop hit or whatever. We went in to the raunchiest place we could find in the valley of Los Angeles and just wrote. Things came out so fast. It was all new material that we tracked. We were all very excited and inspired by the sessions. There was one song that was written many years ago that we re-recorded. It was a song we weren’t sure we wanted to put on the record but it was one we always loved. Maybe after we hear it mastered and as a whole we will put it on the record but other than that all the material is new.
AL: With the exception of the band’s first album was this the first time that you were allowed the freedom to record what you wanted?
FD: With a band’s first album no one knows what’s going to happen. The band just goes in and makes a record but, after awhile you are forced to start chasing radio hits. The corporate thing starts to take over and things start to become about making money. We never thought like that. We were just these weird guys that when we got together this thing comes out. Sometimes we come up with a fun song or a really intense song we just don’t know. But when you have to start chasing hits you have this pressure hanging over your head. That was all gone this time around. It was incredible having that pressure off. We didn’t see this coming
so it was a great surprise for us. We have some popular songs we can play live but for the most part moving forward we are making the music we want to.
AL: Do you find it harder going back out on the road after an extended break and performing new material to crowds that may predominately only want to hear the bands hits?
FD: The live shows are what we are all about. It has always been about that and making
everyone happy. The set list is another story in its self. We don’t make a set list to make people happy we just go with the flow similar to what a DJ does. It’s about the momentum and the feeling of the night. The tour we are currently on we have been doing a lot of deep cuts that fans have come out in droves to hear. Going forward with the new material we want the fans to have fun be we also want to have fun as well. If we go too deep in to some material that throws us off as well. We are not self indulgent and are going to stand up there playing a song we think is great while the audience goes and gets a beer. We want to keep the fans engaged.
AL: How did the collaboration with you and Lil’ Wayne come about?
FD: That was awesome and something that was very organic. A lot of people who don’t know Lil’ Wayne don’t realize he is this skateboarding guy who loves rock music. Being he is one of the biggest rappers in the world a lot of people wouldn’t think he was a rock guy. We did that collaboration before we had signed to Cash Money and that was really what sparked our signing to that label. Wayne is a great guy and the entire experience has been great. It’s a total rock track with an urban undertone that is just fun.
AL: When that opportunity came to sign with Cash Money, did the band have any reservations being they are mostly known as a hip-hop label?
FD: Not for me. The band has always had an urban element and after speaking with Birdman and Slim they got it. They wanted rock and they wanted Limp Bizkit to be their first rock act. They wanted us to be able to do what we love. I knew it be perceived as different but for me that was good news and a good polarizing element. It’s great to be able to do what we do and not be forced in to a certain direction. I think for the most part everything is going really smooth.
AL: Can you tell us about the bands tour plans?
FD: We have been touring all over the world since Wes came back. Things have just kept growing however we haven’t hit the states since 2001. We wanted to get our feet on the ground and go back and play the places we started out in. We wanted to see and touch our core fans and have the feeling we did when we first started out. Things have been going good and this run takes us through June. From there we will be hitting Europe and Russia before coming back to the States for a little bit bigger package tour. We want to keep connecting with the fans and our origin. We love playing and being on stage. It’s not the get rich business anymore it’s the be grateful business. We get to go out and do what we love to do.
AL: Do you have any other projects outside of the band we can be watching for?
FD: Everyone once in awhile some cool opportunities come up for me to do some acting. I have been doing some directing lately as well as a lot of writing. The stuff I am working on now is a bit different from my first features. These are a little bit bigger movies than “The Long Shots” and “Educating Charlie Banks”. I also sold some television shows recently including one to Showtime which we have been working on lately. Being able to be creative is what I love. There’s so much that goes in to every second of a movie that people often don’t realize and I just love all that stuff.
AL: Do you ever find similarities between writing songs and writing movie scripts?
FD: No not really. I have tried to marry the two though. I think audio and visual go together somehow in this world but music is a different thing for me. I am always in the moment when I am writing lyrics. I am under the pressure of the microphone when I am recording. I don’t necessarily sit around with a pad and write songs. I listen to the music and when I can’t keep my mouth shut anymore because I am feeling something or there is a continuity I push the record but and just go. With a script every page is a minute and there is a formula. Things need to happen in specific areas. For me I think they are very different processes.