In 1999, Limp Bizkit had it all. Hit singles, celebrity cameos, and the power to instigate all manner of shitheaded-ness at Woodstock '99. The Biz were so omnipotent that Fred Durst once got on stage, alone, fucked up a guitar solo, then screamed "SHAG MY FRIENDS TONIGHT!" to rapturous applause as though he hadn't just foreseen the sounds of someone getting a really terrible Guitar Hero score. Here is that momentous event for posterity.
What Fred didn't know in his shredding was that the previous kings of shred, Slayer, were profoundly impacted by his band's popularity. In an interview with UDiscoverMusic as part of their oral history of thrash metal, Slayer guitarist Kerry King discusses his feelings of befuddlement and rage during Limp Bizkit's prime.
I was really jaded for a while back in the late 90s. I couldn't understand why Limp Bizkit was big. It affected me – I didn't want to play music. I thought, if this is the way that music's going, then f__k this, I hate it.
King's disappointment led to him being mostly uninvolved with composing Slayer's 1998 album Diabolus in Musica, a record that found the band catering to the nu-metal crowd with Korn-derived vocal filters and tuning their guitars down to the same C# standard tuning that Limp Bizkit used for their music. Though he was reasonably enthusiastic in this contemporary interview, King now reflects on the rap-metal direction as "too funky." Fred Durst said of his own band's sound that "I know y'all be loving this shit right here" and the people did. They truly did love that shit. Let's all put on our caps, tilt them backwards, and reminisce on the glory days.
Phil is a nu-metal archivist. He's on Twitter.