Before Limp Bizkit emerged from a four-year hiatus with a series of shows last month in Europe, Fred Durst had to get over his hatred of a segment of his own fanbase. "I got abused a lot growing up," Durst tells Rolling Stone. "For years I looked into the crowd and saw a bunch of bullies and assholes who tortured me and ruined my life. They were using my music as fuel to torture other people, even dressing like me. The music was being misinterpreted and the irony effected me and we stepped away."
According to Durst, he endured childhood ridicule over his taste in music. "I loved the Cure and Bauhaus and the Smiths," he says. "The people in my town weren't privy to that kind of music and I got abused. I discovered the microphone to get out some of that angst." Durst put down the microphone in 2005 and directed two feature films, before reuniting with guitarist Wes Borland and the rest of Limp Bizkit earlier this year. "I realized after years and years that I can't take all of that on my shoulders," he says. "I can just hope for the best and hope that my music finds its way to the people that I'm trying to connect with. There's some people who are not understanding what Limp Bizkit is about. But, then again, who am I to tell people what they can use art for or how they can interpret it?"
Even though Durst is hoping his music won't connect with bullies, Limp Bizkit are playing their first American show with guitarist Wes Borland in eight years at an Ultimate Fighting Championship event July 10th in Las Vegas.
"I've just always liked watching people who are very skilled in all different types of fighting, going to engage with a little less boundaries," says Durst. "These fights are put together in an organized way. I wouldn't support Limp Bizkit being on some snuff backyard brawling, fighting contest." The Vegas show is a one-off, but Durst promises the band is thinking about a U.S. tour, which won't happen until they're done prepping a new album they hope to release in the fall.
"The style is not going to disappoint any true, hardcore Limp Bizkit fans," Durst says. "But it also isn't going to alienate anyone that else who is going to discover Limp Bizkit for the first time. It's kinda going to change the game a little bit, but still stay Limp Bizkit — if that makes any sense."
Even as he crafts a new Bizkit album, Durst says that rap/rock isn't very close to his heart. "I don't even listen to any type of music that's like Limp Bizkit at all," he says. "I love jazz music and sad music. I'm a sentimental guy. I'm a romantic guy. I'm 38 years old and Limp Bizkit is just something I do. If I was a painter, it would just be a type of painting I make. Some people love it, and its offends a lot of people too."