Led by self-confessed freak Fred Durst (William Frederick Durst, 20 August 1971, Jacksonville, Florida, USA), the son of a policeman, hard rock/hip-hop fusion band Limp Bizkit formed in 1994 in Jacksonville, Florida. Completed by Wes Borland (b. Richmond, Virginia, USA; guitar), Sam Rivers (b. 2 September 1977, Jacksonville, Florida, USA; bass) and John Otto (b. 22 March 1977, Jacksonville, Florida, USA; drums), the band was further augmented in 1996 by the services of DJ Lethal (b. Leor DiMant, 18 December 1972, Latvia) when his former employers House Of Pain ran aground. The connection was made originally when Limp Bizkit supported House Of Pain on their final tour. On his move from hip-hop to an (admittedly eclectic) rock sound, he commented: 80% of the drums in rap come from old rock records. People who talk shit about me being white and doing hip-hop better check who the fuck theyre sampling! The band made its debut with Three Dollar Bill, Yall$ in 1997, a record that went on to notch up sales in excess of 1.5 million as it was adopted by a new generation of MTV rock fans. The bands striking live shows, complete with breakdancers and garish backdrops, also earned them high-profile slots on the Ozz-Fest, Warped and Family Values tours.
Durst continued to court celebrity and self-publicity, making guest appearances on albums by Korn and Soulfly during this period. He also became an A&R executive for his record label, Flip, fellow Jacksonville band Cold being his first signing. Limp Bizkit returned in July 1999 with Significant Other, with production work by DJ Premier and a guest rap from Method Man affirming the bands hip-hop credentials. The album debuted at number 1 on the US album chart, confirming the band as one of the leading alternative acts in America. The following year they achieved a big transatlantic hit with Take A Look Around, the theme song for the Tom Cruise movie Mission: Impossible 2. They capitalised on their high profile with the release of Chocolate Starfish And The Hot Dog Flavored Water, which went straight to number 1 on the US charts. The band also spearheaded the nu metal breakthrough in Europe, with Rollin topping the UK singles chart for two weeks in January 2001. Borland, who had earlier recorded an album with his side-project Big Dumb Face, left the band in October. He was eventually replaced in April 2003 by former Snot guitarist Mike Smith, who made his debut on the disappointing Results May Vary. Borland returned to the line-up the following year. The guitarist returned to the studio with the rest of the band to help record new material, with the mini-album The Unquestionable Truth (Part 1) appearing in summer 2005.
Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.