Image Credit: Bernd Mueller/Redferns/Getty ImagesWhen Limp Bizkit revealed in February 2009 that they were reuniting the band issued a statement which explained the quintet were “more disgusted and bored with the state of heavy popular music than they were with each other.” Frankly, EW has heard more heartfelt declarations of brotherly love—and the historically troubled relationship between frontman Fred Durst and guitarist Wes Borland, who has departed from the band on a couple of occasions over the past decades, did not augur well. But more than a year on, they have finished a new album, Gold Cobra, and this week announced that they will be heading off on an extensive summer tour. After the break, Durst and Borland discuss the platinum-selling nu metal act’s fractious past, peaceable present, and the phallic implications of their new CD’s title.
Entertainment Weekly: So, have you two mellowed with age?
Wes Borland: I don’t know if ‘mellowed’ is the correct word. I think we spent a long time not understanding each other. It took a long time—especially for me—to realize what a huge p—k I was being. Instead of going, “I’m being treated like s—t and victimized,” I took a step back and went, ‘Wow, I am such a p—k about so many things.” I didn’t know what battles to choose. Some people get clarity. And I got clarity, and I suddenly understood everyone a lot better.
EW: So Fred, do you agree with Wes that the band’s problems were all his fault?
Fred Durst: I think it’s impossible to point the finger at one person. I look back and I think of my contribution to the madness. We were all thrown into the guts of this monster. We’re small town guys, and it just took some time to stop the world from shaking. Wes and I, we never really took the time to speak each other’s language. Now, we’re having a lot of fun. We’re hanging out together like never before. It’s like we’re kids all over again.
EW: Wes, I believe you thought up the name Gold Cobra. What’s the significance of that?
WB: I’ve never been in a band where someone goes, “Ah, I’ve got the perfect name! And it’s because I climbed Mount Fuji, and at the top a golden dove came down…” It’s always a bunch of guys sitting around going, “How about Rotten Chipmunks?” We were just emailing back and forth and Gold Cobra came out and it was like, “That sounds like the music we’re making right now.”
EW: So it isn’t your secret name for the Borland manhood?
WB: I wish it was.
FD: I’m glad it’s not.
EW: Fred, you rap about “Sucker M.C.’s” on the recently—and officially—leaked track “Why Try.” I thought that was a problem which had disappeared. Like scurvy.
FD: I do think that some bands seem to be dabbling in the rock-hip-hop world and are not necessarily serious about it. I’m calling out some of those types of people who maybe don’t have both feet in the water.
EW: “Why Try” sounds very much like “classic” Limp Bizkit.
FD: I wanted to leak something off the album that was kind of familiar. It’s not all like that. It will all feel like Limp Bizkit. But there are a couple of songs that are on the more mellower side. There are a couple of songs that—I believe—are beautifully melodic sprinkled in amongst the madness.
EW: Are we talking Celine Dion territory?
EW: What guests do you have on the CD?
FD: Right now, there are no guests. I did do a song with Paul Wall, the M.C. from Texas, that might make it on the record. We’ve no rock collaborations at all. I love collaborating. But it felt like we were in our own little bubble this time.
EW: There’s a track on the album called “Douchebag”? Was that inspired by anyone in particular?
FD: Absolutely. It was inspired by all the douchebags that are out there. The bullies. I was bullied a lot. People think, “Fred has an aggressive approach on the vocals, he must be a bully.” On the contrary. I was really tortured and bullied a lot in school. When I found my outlet through this band to express myself, that’s where my pent up aggression came out, and my attack on that. But the irony is, unless I blatantly say it, you might not get that. So a lot of bullies use our music as their fuel, to get them pumped up. So I want a shed a little light on this record, that this music is not for those people.
Finally, Wes, you’re nearly always photographed in stage make up, so I had no idea what you looked like before this interview. I have to say, you’re a very handsome fellow. You could be in Mad Men! You’ve got that kind of vibe.
WB: Thank you for the compliment.
FD: That’s what Gene Simmons always says: “You’re a handsome and attractive man.”
WB: He says that to everyone?
WB: I love Mad Men. I love that look. I love all those suits. It’s a fantastic show!