OH MY GOD, I FEEL SO VIOLATED
My girlfriend once asked Fred Durst to sign her tit, and he obliged. Obviously it was before we were dating, or I never would have allowed it, but what can I do? It’s not something we’re proud of it- it happened, and we struggle with it on a day-by-day basis. She’s on a healthy diet of In Flames and Mastodon now, and well on her way to being a stronger, smarter, better metalhead.
The point is this: the girl knows a little something about Limp Bizkit. So when she mentioned, during a discussion about Stone Temple Pilots this past weekend, that Scott Weiland had sung guest vocals on a Limp Bizkit track, I hoped she was wrong, PRAYED she was wrong, but after doing some reseach I was mortified to discover that not only was she correct, but that Mr. Weiland had actually appeared on not one, not two, but THREE Limp Bizkit songs during the band’s late 90s heyday: “Nobody Like You” (with Korn’s Jonathan Davis) and “Show Me What You Got” (with Eminem, Kid Rock, the Wu-Tang Clan, some dudes from Staind, and a bunch of other random people you’d only ever see in one place on a shitty nu-metal album) from Sucknifigant Other, and “Hold On” from that record which is titled with that stupid euphemism for “asshole.”
As of this writing, I haven’t actually heard any of these songs, so maybe it’s unfair of me to judge; maybe Weiland somehow elevates the material to a level of artistry heretofore unknown by Wes Borland and the boys. But the same way they always say that an actor is only as good as his script, a singer is only as good as his band, especially when that singer, like Weiland, isn’t known for making actual songwriting contributions beyond the lyrics and melody. So I remain skeptical but unable to actually proffer an intelligent analysis of what Weiland contributed to the rap metal pantheon.
What interests me, then, is not what Weiland did, but WHY he did it. Did he really see something in Bizkit’s music that the rest of us missed? Was he doing a favor to some record exec? Was he just doing it for the check? Trying to stay hip and on top of current trends? Or did Durst simply lure Scott into the recording studio with the promise of dope the way I used to lure my dog into the vet’s office with a Snausage?
Of course, Weiland isn’t the first rock god to make a sad error in choosing his collaborators (Kerry King played on a Sum 41 track, for cryin’ out loud!), and we may never know why Weiland did it any more than we’ll ever know why Robert Hanssen sold secrets to the Soviets, why Jeffrey Dahmer liked to fuck and then eat people, why most of Germany looked the other way while the Nazis “exterminated” millions of Jews, or why the people stuck on the island on Lost don’t seem especially concerned with losing golf balls even though they presumably have a limited amount with which to play.
But I’d be lying if I said that, at least for me personally, this didn’t cast Weiland in a different light. Not that it could devalue his work with STP- no point in blaming the Super DeLeo Bros. ’cause Bauser kidnapped the Princess- but simply because Weiland was so callous with his legacy. Back when Velvet Revolver was still looking for a singer and calling themselves “The Project,” Spin asked Slash about Durst, who’d recently seen Borland quit Bizkit, as a potential front man. Slash replied that he had met Durst a few times: “He never asked me to play to guitar, and I never asked him to sing.” If only Weiland had been so even headed in his choices.