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Fred Durst on the Limp Bizkit ‘Comeback’

Ready for some more nookie? Rap-rock crew Limp Bizkit is hitting the road this summer and releasing a new record, marking the first time singer Fred Durst is working with guitarist Wes Borland after Borland split from the band (for a second time) in 2006. (The band kicks things off with a gig at New York’s Gramercy Theater tonight.) During the band’s late-nineties and early-aughts peak — when monster, aggro anthems like “Nookie” ruled pop radio and MTV — Durst earned a reputation as a mud-slinging troublemaker, getting into public beefs with everyone from Christina Aguilera to Britney Spears. But recently, the Bizkit front man seems to have calmed down — you’re more likely to find him playing golf than trash-talking celebs on Howard Stern. Vulture caught up with Durst to talk about how Daft Punk influenced the band’s new music, making up with Borland, and finding inner peace.

Limp Bizkit will hit the road this summer with the original lineup for the first time in nine years. Why did you decide to reunite?

Well, this is definitely more of a comeback, not a reunion. A reunion is more like when a band hits it one more time and cashes in, probably to put some more money in the bank. This is more like we’ve been committed to the band. We don’t have any plans to keep the engine from evolving. It’s definitely a comeback.

You’ve described the new Bizkit album as having a Daft Punk–inspired vibe. Really?

The music definitely feels dance-y. There are deeper emotional songs; there are a lot of groovy, dance-y songs; and there are a couple that have a Daft Punk feel. We have one song — and I don’t know if it’ll end up on the record — that’s definitely got a robot-rock vibe. I love that stuff. I love electronic music, and I love drum and bass. Daft Punk always seem to have their finger on the pulse.

The title of the album is called “Gold Cobra.” What does that mean?

There’s something very exciting and shiny and appealing about it because a gold cobra can become dangerous and venomous. You’re enamored of it, but it also feels like there’s intention.

Limp Bizkit guitarist Wes Borland has rejoined the band after leaving two times in the past. Why did he decide to return to the fold and how are you guys getting along?

I just think that time did it for us. After a while, he started feeling like he was missing something and it took us a while to get into the same room and admit that to each other. When we met, we were hugging and saying that we couldn’t do Limp Bizkit without each other.

What’s in store for Limp Bizkit’s live shows. Are you going to play “Nookie”?

We’ll play new stuff, but we wouldn’t want to leave out the classic Limp Bizkit songs. When I go to shows, I’m really looking forward to hearing the songs I know. I don’t like it when a band tries to expose me to new stuff.

When the band announced its initial comeback last year, you said it was because you were disgusted with the state of heavy popular music. What music specifically pissed you off?

I don’t think I should say. I’ve shot myself in the foot plenty of times.

You’re referring to past beefs with people like Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera. Have you calmed down in recent years?

I feel like I’m evolving. I know where I draw my emotions from and I’m trying not to be so obnoxious. With all of us, fortunately, there’s an evolution. In time, you gain perspective and things start to change. When I look back on my knee-jerk reactions now, I realize I should have just taken a breath.

Speaking of calming down, you’ve also taken up playing golf. Are you any good?

I’ve been around golf my whole life. My father did it all the time, and I resented him for it. But a couple years ago I picked up a golf club and I understood the physics of it. If anyone knows anything about golf, it’s that once you hit a few shots, you’ll become addicted.

Do your fans give you grief for playing?

I get a lot of heat from the fans. They’ll say things like, “How can we take you seriously with Limp Bizkit when you’re golfing?” And I just say, “Well, one day you’ll be golfing too.”

Fred Durst on the Limp Bizkit ‘Comeback’