William Frederick Durst (born August 20, 1970) is an American musician and film director. Durst is best known as the vocalist of the nu metal band Limp Bizkit, formed in 1994, with whom he has released six studio albums. He spent his formative years playing in a number of local bands in Jacksonville, Florida while mowing lawns and working as a tattoo artist.
Since 2006, Durst has also become known for his work in independent films. He costarred in the film Population 436, and made his directorial debut in 2007, with the film The Education of Charlie Banks. Durst directed a second film, The Longshots, in 2008. Durst has been ranked in the Top 100 Heavy Metal Vocalists by Hit Parader (number 71).Durst was born in Gastonia, North Carolina and grew up in Jacksonville, Florida. At the age of 12, Durst took an interest in breakdancing, hip hop, punk rock and heavy metal. He began to rap, skate, beatbox and DJ. Leaving the Navy after just two years, Durst moved to Jacksonville where he worked as a landscaper and a tattoo artist while developing an idea for a band that combined elements of rock and hip-hop.
Formation of Limp Bizkit (1994-1998)See also: Limp Bizkit and Limp Bizkit discography
In 1994, Durst, Malachi Sage bassist Sam Rivers, and Rivers' cousin John Otto jammed together and wrote three songs. Guitarist Wes Borland later joined. Durst named the band Limp Bizkit because he wanted a name that would repel listeners. Limp Bizkit developed a cult following in the underground music scene when its covers of George Michael's "Faith" and Paula Abdul's "Straight Up" began to attract curious concertgoers.
Later, when Korn performed in town as the opening act for Sick of It All, Durst invited Korn to his house. He was able to persuade bassist Reginald Arvizu to listen to demos of the songs "Pollution", "Counterfeit", and "Stuck". Korn added a then-unsigned Limp Bizkit to two tours, which gave the band a new audience. DJ Lethal, formerly of the hip hop group House of Pain, joined the band as a turntablist; Durst's disagreements with Borland led the guitarist to quit and rejoin the band.
In 1997, Limp Bizkit signed with Flip Records, a subsidiary of Interscope Records, and released their debut album, Three Dollar Bill, Y'all to minimal response. Durst was appointed Senior Vice President of A&R at Interscope. On October 23, 1997, Durst met the band Staind, but friction quickly emerged between the two over the cover art of Staind's album. Durst unsuccessfully attempted to remove Staind from a concert bill shortly before their performance, but after hearing the band play, he was so impressed that he signed them to Flip/Elektra, recorded a demo with the band, and co-produced their next album, Dysfunction.
After Limp Bizkit finished a tour with the band Deftones, Durst and DJ Lethal were asked by Max Cavalera, formerly of the band Sepultura, to appear on "Bleed", a song from the self-titled debut of his new band Soulfly. Cavalera stated that producer Ross Robinson recommended that he work with Durst. Durst also made an appearance on Korn's album Follow the Leader. Jonathan Davis had intended to write a battle rap with B-Real of Cypress Hill, but the latter's label wouldn't let him do it, and Durst was tapped instead. Davis and Durst wrote the lyrics for "All in the Family", which featured the two vocalists trading insults. Davis and Durst would often offer suggestions for each other's lyrics; a lyric written by Durst as "tootin' on your bagpipe" was changed to "fagpipes" by Davis, who stated "I helped him bag on me better".
Durst began to take an interest in filmmaking, directing the music video for Limp Bizkit's single "Faith" in promotion for its appearance in the film Very Bad Things; he was unsatisfied with it and made a second video which paid tribute to tour mates Primus, Deftones and Mötley Crüe, who appeared in the video.
Mainstream success and controversies (1998-2005)Fred Durst with Limp Bizkit 2011
Limp Bizkit achieved mainstream success with the albums Significant Other (1999) and Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water (2000). In the summer of 1999, Limp Bizkit played at the highly anticipated Woodstock '99 festival in front of approximately 200,000 people. Violence occurred during and after their performance, including fans tearing plywood from the walls during the song "Break Stuff". Several sexual assaults were reported in the aftermath of the concert. Durst stated during the concert, "People are getting hurt. Don't let anybody get hurt. But I don't think you should mellow out. That's what Alanis Morissette had you motherfuckers do. If someone falls, pick 'em up. We already let the negative energy out. Now we wanna let out the positive energy". Durst later stated in an interview, "I didn't see anybody getting hurt. You don't see that. When you're looking out on a sea of people and the stage is twenty feet in the air and you're performing, and you're feeling your music, how do they expect us to see something bad going on?" Les Claypool told the San Francisco Examiner, "Woodstock was just Durst being Durst. His attitude is 'no press is bad press', so he brings it on himself. He wallows in it. Still, he's a great guy."
In June 2000, Limp Bizkit performed at the WXRK Dysfunctional Family Picnic, but showed up an hour late for their set. An Interscope spokesman stated that there was confusion over the band's set time. During the band's performance, Durst criticized Creed singer Scott Stapp, calling him "an egomaniac". Creed's representatives later presented Durst with an autographed anger management manual during an appearance on Total Request Live. In the summer, Limp Bizkit's tour was sponsored by the controversial file sharing service Napster. Durst was an outspoken advocate of file sharing.
During the 2000 MTV Video Music Awards, Durst performed Limp Bizkit's song "Livin' It Up", as a duet with Christina Aguilera. In response to the performance, Filter frontman Richard Patrick claimed that "Fred getting onstage with Christina Aguilera embarrassed us all." In response to the negative reactions to the performance, Durst remarked, "I already told you guys before, I did it all for the nookie, man." Aguilera, in response to Durst's remark, commented, "He got no nookie."
During a 2001 tour of Australia at the Big Day Out festival in Sydney, fans rushed the stage in the mosh pit, and teenager Jessica Michalik died of asphyxiation. In court, Durst, represented by his long-time attorney, Ed McPherson, testified he had warned the concert's organizers Aaron Jackson, Will Pearce and Amar Tailor and promoter Vivian Lees of the potential dangers of such minimal security. After viewing video and hearing witness testimony, the coroner said it was evident that the density of the crowd was dangerous at the time Limp Bizkit took the stage and Durst should have acted more responsibly when the problem became apparent. Durst stated that he was "emotionally scarred" because of the teenager's death.
In 2002, Durst was tapped to write songs for Britney Spears, and later said that he was in a relationship with her. Spears denied Durst's claims. In a 2009 interview, he explained that "I just guess at the time it was taboo for a guy like me to be associated with a gal like her." In February 2005, a sex tape featuring Durst was released on the Internet. Durst filed a $70 million lawsuit against ten websites that posted the video.
In July 2003, Limp Bizkit participated on the Summer Sanitarium Tour, headlined by Metallica. In the days preceding the tour's stop in Chicago, local radio personality Mancow Muller mocked Durst and suggested that listeners who were attending the concert should heckle the singer and throw debris. With the crowd chanting "fuck Fred Durst" and pelting the stage with garbage, Durst erupted in a profane, homophobic tirade after six songs, threw the microphone down and walked off stage. Durst was eventually sued for breach of contract (for not completing the show) by Chicago lawyer Michael Young in a class-action suit.
In May 2005, The Unquestionable Truth (Part 1) was released. Sammy Siegler took over drumming duties for the band for much of the album. At Durst's insistence, the album was released as an underground album, without any advertising or promotion. The album sold over 2,000,000 copies worldwide, peaking at number 24 on the Billboard 200. Durst later announced that despite the album's title, no sequel to The Unquestionable Truth would be produced. Later in the year, the band released a Greatest Hitz album.Durst at the premiere of Baby Mama at the 2008 Tribeca Film Festival
Film career (2006-present)
While Limp Bizkit was on hiatus, Durst began working in independent films. In 2006, Durst costarred in the film Population 436. His directorial debut, The Education of Charlie Banks, was released the following year. The film, which starred Jesse Eisenberg, Chris Marquette and Jason Ritter, received mixed reviews; Rotten Tomatoes, a review aggregator, assigned the film a "Tomatometer" score of 46%. The website's consensus stated, "Unevenness and earnestness mire this otherwise sweet, surprising coming of age drama." A second directorial effort, The Longshots, starring Ice Cube and Keke Palmer, was released in 2008. Rotten Tomatoes assigned the film a score of 39%, with the consensus indicating that the film was "a largely formulaic affair, rarely deviating from the inspirational sports movie playbook." The same year, Durst appeared as a bartender in two episodes of the television medical drama House, M.D. Durst was originally attached to direct and produce the film Pawn Shop Chronicles, starring Paul Walker; Wayne Kramer was later chosen to direct the film. In February 2018, Durst began filming Moose, starring John Travolta.
Limp Bizkit reunion (2009-present)
In 2009, the original lineup of Limp Bizkit reunited and began touring. Durst announced that they had begun to record a new album, Gold Cobra. The album was released on June 28, 2011, receiving mixed reviews. It peaked at number 16 on the Billboard 200.
In 2012, Durst appeared on the Insane Clown Posse cover album Smothered, Covered & Chunked on a cover of AMG's "Bitch Betta Have My Money". In February 2012, Lil Wayne announced in a radio interview that Limp Bizkit had signed to his label, Cash Money Records, which Durst confirmed on his Twitter page. A few months later Durst was featured alongside Lil Wayne and Birdman on the Kevin Rudolf song "Champions", which peaked in the top 10 on iTunes.
Fred Durst has a daughter named Adriana Durst. She was born in 1990 to Durst and his then-wife Rachel Tergesen. He also has a son named Dallas.
In 2009, Durst married Esther Nazarov and split after three months.
Durst was married to make-up artist Kseniya Beryazina. They filed for divorce in September 2018.
In 2015, Fred Durst stated his interest in obtaining a Russian passport and spending half of the year in Crimea. He wrote a letter in which he stated that Vladimir Putin is "a great guy with clear moral principles and a nice person." Following that, Durst was banned by the Security Service of Ukraine from entering Ukraine for five years "in the interests of guaranteeing the security" of the country. Soon thereafter, all Limp Bizkit sales on the territory of Ukraine were prohibited.
As of 2016, Durst is a vegan.
Conflicts with other artists
Feud with Eminem
The feud between Eminem and Everlast has expanded to include Eminem's one-time friends Fred Durst and DJ Lethal of Limp Bizkit. Eminem had predictably profane words for the pair on "Girls," a track from the group D12's album Devil's Night. Eminem is apparently upset about a comment Lethal made in December during the Limp guys' visit to "TRL." DJ Lethal, who was in House of Pain with Everlast but was also friends with Eminem, at first said of their beef, "They're both men, they'll work it out." But he added that if the two were to take their differences outside the realm of their respective records, "Everlast would definitely win, you know what I mean?". Eminem has retaliated with "Girls," his third volley in his war of the words with Everlast. Limp Bizkit, the band DJ Lethal and Fred Durst were performing as members of during Eminem's feud with Everlast, were supposed to be guests on "Quitter," one of Eminem and D12's Everlast-dissing songs. However, at the last moment, Fred Durst said he couldn't be in the song due to a toothache and DJ Lethal said he wouldn't be in the song as DJ Lethal used to be in hip-hop group House of Pain with Everlast. Eminem called DJ Lethal and Fred Durst "cowards" and "sissies" on the song "Girls". Later in the song, Eminem claims he left Fred Durst hanging on purpose when the vocalist tried to give him a high five during the 2000 MTV Video Music Awards in September 2000. However, Eminem claimed his reason for dissing Fred Durst and DJ Lethal is for comments DJ Lethal made a couple months later. Eminem also allied himself with Limp Bizkit when he dissed Everlast on the songs "I Remember (Dedication to Whitey Ford)", released in October 2000 as the B-side to his group D12's 12" vinyl single Shit on You, and "Quitter," released in December 2000.
Feud with Slipknot
Durst was accused of insulting fans of the band Slipknot by referring to them as "fat, ugly kids". Slipknot singer Corey Taylor responded during a concert in New York by claiming that the fans of Slipknot "for the most part, enjoy all kinds of music, like Limp Bizkit, maybe." Taylor went on to claim that insulting the fans of Slipknot could also be insulting the fans of Limp Bizkit themselves.
As lead artist
|Title||Year||Peak chart positions||Certifications||Album|
|"Counterfeit" / "Nobody Loves Me"||1997||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||Three Dollar Bill, Y'all$|
|"Crushed"||—||31||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||End of Days soundtrack|
|"N 2 Gether Now"
(featuring Method Man)
|"Take a Look Around"||115||8||15||—||28||4||4||7||29||7||3||
||Mission: Impossible II soundtrack|
||Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water|
|"Faith" / "Fame"
|—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||New Old Songs|
|"Eat You Alive"||2003||—||20||16||—||30||16||13||36||—||31||10||
||Results May Vary|
|"Red Light-Green Light"
(featuring Snoop Dogg)
|"Behind Blue Eyes"||71||18||11||—||4||3||2||5||5||5||18||
|"Build a Bridge"||2004||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|"Bittersweet Home"||2005||—||—||—||43||—||44||45||—||—||96||—||Greatest Hitz|
|"Ready to Go"
(featuring Lil Wayne)
|2013||—||—||—||41||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||Stampede of the Disco Elephants|
|"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.|
As featured artist
|Title||Year||Peak chart positions||Album|
|"All in the Family"
(Korn featuring Fred Durst)
|1998||—||—||Follow the Leader|
(Soulfly featuring Fred Durst and DJ Lethal)
(Methods of Mayhem feat. Fred Durst, Lil' Kim, Mixmaster Mike, and George Clinton)
|1999||—||—||Methods of Mayhem|
(Run-D.M.C. feat. Fred Durst)
(Rock feat. Fred Durst)
|2004||—||—||Veteranz Day - The Best of Rock Volume 2|
|"Here We Are (Champions)"
(Kevin Rudolf featuring Limp Bizkit, Birdman and Lil Wayne)
|2012||—||—||Rich Gang (album)|
|"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.|
|2003||Pauly Shore is Dead||Himself|
|2005||Sorry, Haters||Evan Jealous|
|2006||Population 436||Deputy Bobby Caine|
|2008||House M.D.||Bartender||Episode: "House's Head"|
Episode: "Wilson's Heart"
|2018||Mostly 4 Millennials||DJ Durst||Recurring Character|
|The Education of Charlie Banks||2007|