Whatever happened to Fred Durst?

From the late '90s to early '00s, Fred Durst was a name music fans couldn't avoid. As the lead singer of Limp Bizkit, he was no stranger to the charts, but these days, it's rare to hear Durst's name. So what happened to the rap-rock singer? Here are a few ideas.

He admitted to hating some fans

Limp Bizkit's mainstream success was undeniable by the late '90s, and that created a problem for the band. With its growing success came more fans, which wasn't always a good thing for Limp Bizkit. Durst told Los Angeles' KTLA the band actually hated some of its fans because they included the same type of people Durst dealt with during his childhood when he was a "misfit."

The singer started Limp Bizkit as a place to direct his artistic talent when he was picked on, but he wound up using the group's lyrics as a place to fight back against bullies. "But the irony was, the sound was so ferocious that bullies themselves would embrace Limp Bizkit," he told KTLA. "So it was uneasy for us to see the people we really hated participating and being fans of the music alongside the people we were sort of fighting for and standing up for."

A record label pulled his band apart

For Limp Bizkit, being signed to a record label was imperative to the group's success, but it was also a large part of the band's demise. Durst told Metal Hammer the group slowly started to unravel after its single, "Rollin' (Air Raid Vehicle)," was released. "It just got too big," Durst said. "The label milked us to death and we all started living success in our own ways. Wes [Borland] realized that he was an eclectic artist—Limp Bizkit got too huge and he's always been more indie. He left and we sort of looked at each other wondering what happened."

Absence makes the heart grow fonder, though, and Durst says that's just what happened with Limp Bizkit. "After a few years we got together again and realized we both had a void, and we missed the humor in the band and we're actually friends who hang out now. It was never like that back then," he told Metal Hammer. "We're all so grateful for each other, I can't even tell you."

Fred Durst (and Limp Bizkit) left Interscope Records

In 1999, Durst got a huge offer from Interscope Records. Limp Bizkit was already signed to the label, but Durst was also asked to join the label as its senior vice president. He accepted the position and added signing bands, marketing, producing music, creating music videos, and other tasks to his already busy schedule.

Durst left his position as VP and Limp Bizkit parted ways with the record label in 2011. He confirmed the band's departure on the podcast Poolside with Dean Delray (via NME) saying the group was happy with the split. "We have been working for a while now to re-navigate where we are going to take Limp Bizkit and finally we have been able to get off our label and become independent," he told the podcast. "We just want to go play a concert and crush it and turn it into a big-a** party. The record thing sort of kind of always got in our way, but it's part of the game and we love writing music and it happened that we had some songs that became popular and we never thought that would happen. So with this way, we can still go tour."

He started a feud with Creed

In 2000, Limp Bizkit and Creed were both on the bill for KROCK's Dysfunctional Family Picnic in Holmdel, N.J. Limp Bizkit was scheduled to play the event ahead of Creed. Limp Bizkit not only reportedly took the stage late, but Durst also offered up a few choice words about Creed's lead singer, Scott Stapp. According to MTV News, he called Stapp an "egomaniac" and a "f***ing punk" on stage before continuing his rant later on MTV's Total Request Live.

Creed's reps responded to Durst's comments, saying (via MTV News), "We are extremely disappointed that Fred Durst has taken his personal feelings towards us public, considering we have never met or spoken to him. We are more disappointed that Fred is manipulating the media and the truth by using Creed as a scapegoat for his own immature and egotistical actions." Creed also alleged Limp Bizkit took the stage late because the band was upset about its set time.

Durst responded to those allegations by issuing his own statement (via MTV News): "What I said about Creed I meant. The starting time of our New York show had nothing to do with my comments. I bet some fans who have tried to meet them would agree. I don't ever care about what other people in the business say. Our fans know what we're about and that's all that matters to me."

He got on Xtina's bad side

Christina Aguilera and Durst performed together at MTV's Video Music Awards in 2000. That interesting crossover performance fueled some controversial gossip. Fans were confused by the collaboration, so Durst said his reasoning for it was, "I want that girl, that's that" (via MTV News.)

The pop starlet was not happy with Durst's comments. She caught up with a MTV cameraman after Durst made his statement to clear things up. "You wish you got some nookie from it," she said. "He got no nookie. That did not happen… it's some really crazy stuff that people want to insinuate and people want to say and it is hurtful."

He was banned by the Ukranian government

Durst went public in 2015 about wanting to purchase a home in Crimea, the embattled Ukranian republic annexed by Russia in 2014. According to the Daily Mail, "the Florida-born, North Carolina-raised musician wrote a letter appealing to administrators for a Russian passport so he could move to his third wife [stylist Kseniya Beryazina's] native Crimea in order to shoot film/TV projects."

The Ukrainian government reportedly caught word of Durst's real estate dreams and was not having it! According to Billboard, a Ukranian news publication called Apostrof reported the country's national security service was banning Durst from entering the country for five years "in the interests of guaranteeing the security of our state."

Their concerts sometimes led to violence

The most notorious of all Limp Bizkit shows was its 1999 Woodstock performance. Although the gig was loved by fans, there were alleged rapes or sexual assaults in the crowd during the set. According to Rolling Stone, after the band's intense performance of "Break Stuff" an event organizer took the stage to plead, "'Please, there are people hurt out there. They are your brothers and sisters. They are under the towers. Please, help the medical team get them out of there. We can't continue the show until we get these dear people out of there. We have a really serious situation out there.'" 

The Washington Post spoke with David Krause, a police investigator, who said a 24-year-old woman was allegedly attacked by two men who "assaulted her with their fingers and 'some type of foreign object' before one of them raped her" during Limp Bizkit's performance.

This wasn't the only time Bizkit fans got rowdy. During their KROCK Dysfunctional Family Picnic set, Durst's mic was shut off because the crowd's behavior grew too intense.

He's expanding his resume

Durst, who celebrated his 47th birthday in 2017, has kept himself busy outside of music by acting in, producing, and directing films. He appeared in the 2006 independent thriller Population 436 and made his directorial debut with The Education of Charlie Banks (2007). The latter starred Jesse Eisenberg and Jason Ritter and premiered at the 2007 Tribeca Film Festival, taking home the festival's "Made in NY" narrative award. According to a festival spokesperson (via MTV News), "Durst's flick beat out 14 other films for the prize and was chosen by a jury that included Oscar winner Mercedes Ruehl and actress Minnie Driver."

He paid tribute to Chester Bennington

When Chester Bennington passed away in 2017, many celebrities spoke out about the impact the Linkin Park singer made on their lives. One of them was Fred Durst, who met Bennington when Linkin Park played Europe for the first time as the opening act for a Limp Bizkit. Durst and Bennington became close friends, and the former even credited the latter with propelling the rap-rock genre into the popularity it enjoyed in its heyday.

"I told him if it weren't for him and his voice and his words, this genre would never have reached the masses and affected so many lives," Durst wrote in an emotional essay published by Variety. "I can say so many wonderful things about the Chester I knew. He had a way of making anyone he spoke to feel heard, understood and significant. His aura and spirit were contagious and empowering." He continued, "I want to hug him now and let him know that we all experience our own pain and deal with it our own ways… But I won't get that hug and that moment now, which makes me so sad."

He's hosting jazz nights at a magic club

Though jazz is probably the last thing anyone would expect the "Rollin'" singer to be connected to, Durst is apparently a lifelong aficionado, so much so that he's made showcasing new talent in the genre something of a passion project. The unlikely pairing is a concept not lost on Durst, who told LA Weekly, "I felt like a target, you know. Like someone's gonna see this and think, 'Oh, Fred Durst's doing a jazz night? What's this, lounge versions of "Nookie"?' I just don't know how people perceive it."

That fear hasn't stopped him from continuing to stage and host shows at the Black Rabbit Rose, a club and lounge that also showcases magicians and burlesque performers. In fact, Durst is so into the project, he's digging into his own pockets to keep it going. "I want this to be a portal for musicians and people who are curious, people who are open to something different. I don't know what my expectations were besides that," he told LA Weekly, "It's not a money play. I have to pay my players. You know, jazz musicians rarely make any money around here. It's very interesting to find that out. They're doing it for the passion and very, very, very small amounts of money."

As of December 2017, the Black Rabbit Rose was still promoting the new "Fred'z with a Z" jazz nights on its Instagram page as "a true staple in the Hollywood Jazz Scene!' and "Voted Best Jazz in Hollywood!"

Something's going on with his Instagram

Speaking of Instagram, Durst has taken his own account in a decidedly weird direction. On Sept. 4, 2017, Durst started posting photos of old station wagons with a caption that simply stated the day of the week. He continued this — although he started varying the captions — until an apparent holiday post on Dec. 23, 2017, which was just a bizarre animation clip that looked like the JibJab guys went a little nuts with the spiked eggnog. "Havhnerpy Sholibderays uhgpdat togighdby whisvdlib!!" Durst captioned the post. Yep, Havhnerpy Sholibderays, indeed.

Limp Bizkit is still around, just very selectively

For as elusive as Durst himself seems to be these days, the band that launched his fame is just as cagey. As of this writing, it has exactly one tour date listed on its official website: a March 24, 2018 show in Melbourne, Australia. Though the band hasn't outwardly promoted it yet, the New Zealand Herald confirmed they will be playing the Storm the Gates Festival at Trusts Stadium in Auckland, NZ on March 17, 2018, marking the first time the band has played the country in 16 years.

According to Durst, this choosiness is all part of his plan to keep a varied creative profile. Speaking with LA Weekly, he said, "I still perform and manage Limp Bizkit. We're very selective of where we play. I think I'm gonna be releasing some new material. But my film directing is about to be in a very wonderful place. I've been working on it for a long time, making sure that I'm in the 'no' business. I say 'no' a lot." He added that his "main focus" is now "being creative and enjoying life."

Durst has also been intentionally mysterious about the band's long-awaited new album, Stampede of the Disco Elephants. According to Metal Injection, who quoted a since-deleted Rock Feed transcription of an Instagram Live video, Durst claimed to have hidden the album online somewhere in 2016, but no one has found it yet. Although elsewhere, Durst has stated that he's still on "the infinite quest to complete this album that I've been working on," so honestly, who knows? As of this writing, Stampede of the Disco Elephants has yet to be officially released.

He started a podcast...sort of

In August 2017, Durst uploaded his first and only podcast to an app called Bumpers. In what he teased would be a series called Transparency, Durst said he was seeking to let his fans in on what's been going on in his life, utilizing the direct format to eschew "that character from Limp Bizkit," who he described as "two degrees of separation from they mythical character, Tyler Durden [Brad Pitt's character from the movie Fight Club]." In other words, this was to be Durst taking off the red ball cap for a frank chat about some truly personal stuff.

What he ended up recording was a rambling, stream-of-consciousness chat where he laments the negative aspects of celebrity and then concludes with an anecdote about getting blackout drunk and embarrassing himself in front of Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt.

As of this writing, there is still no second episode. Perhaps Durst realized he went a little heavy on the Pitt references that first time around?