Towards the end of Limp Bizkit‘s set at New York’s Best Buy Theater last year, the group launched into Rage Against the Machine‘s 1992 classic “Killing in the Name,” a song they’ve covered more than 100 times.
“This is dedicated to the rap-rock band that started this shit,” frontman Fred Durst said before the opening verse. Later on in the song, Durst added, “When I first heard this song, that shit hit me right the fuck here,” pointing to his heart. “And this next part” — RATM singer Zach de la Rocha’s repeated screams of “Fuck you!/I won’t do what you tell me!” — “changed my life.”
As Rage Against the Machine bassist Tim Commerford tells Rolling Stone during a soon-to-be-published, in-depth interview, the feeling is not mutual.
“I do apologize for Limp Bizkit,” Commerford says. “I really do. I feel really bad that we inspired such bullshit.
“They’re gone, though,” the Wakrat and Future User musician added, apparently unaware that the band still tours. “That’s the beautiful thing. There’s only one left, and that’s Rage, and as far as I’m concerned, we’re the only one that matters.”
Commerford also reminisced about one of his most notable moments in rock: crashing the stage and climbing the backdrop during Limp Bizkit’s MTV Video Music Awards speech in 2000. As Durst and company took the stage to accept Best Rock Video for “Break Stuff” — beating out Rage Against the Machine’s “Sleep Now in the Fire” — Commerford perched himself 20 feet in the air, swaying the giant backdrop while a team of security and stagehands looked on bemused before climbing after him.
“It’s aged like wine,” Commerford says of the incident. “What was uncomfortable and a little bit bitter in 2000, now I savor it. I get more people that come up to me now. Back in 2000, it was like, ‘Dude, I saw you do that. What was that all about?’ Now, it’s like, ‘Dude, I saw you do that. That was so fuckin’ awesome! I love that.’ It feels more comfortable now to talk about.”
Asked if he had any regrets for the stunt, which found the bassist arrested for disorderly conduct and spending the night in jail, Commerford admits to only one.
“I wish I would’ve swung on that thing and brought it to the ground and just destroyed it,” he says. “If I could do it all over again, I would’ve ripped that thing to the ground and shredded it.”
Additional reporting by Brittany Spanos