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REARRANGED :: Fred Durst on Fame, Finding Normalcy, and Fat Sneakers

REARRANGED :: Fred Durst on Fame, Finding Normalcy, and Fat Sneakers

Yesterday, photos of Fred Durst wearing The Hundreds X Osiris D3 2001 went somewhat viral in the streetwear world, aka they were the most popular new item on Hypebeast. And to be honest, it wasn’t even close. It was a hectic day on the newsfeed, too, so this was nothing to sneeze at. With Yeezy 451 rumors, multiple Drake storylines, someone building an actual Iron Man suit, and an Elon Musk scandal, we didn’t expect our D3 collaboration with Osiris to be the runaway story of the day.

Photo Courtesy of Seu Trinh

We had no business being in the discussion, really, with our “ugly” shoe from 20 years ago and our rock star sneaker model from the same era. But it happened. And do you know why?

Because the real will always conquer the fake. The projects that foster an honest connection to someone’s story will always be more special and relatable to them than some forgettable release they only care about because it’s trending on Twitter or the resale value is through the roof.

When the team was mapping out marketing for the D3 rollout, there were really only a couple of things we had to do. First, avoid messing up an iconic shoe. Surely I’m biased, but check this one off the list because this might be the most fire D3 ever, murdered out with a gum sole and flashy 3M side panels. The details are tremendous. The other requirement was that we get Fred Durst involved in the project. Because with a project like this, you have to commit fully. You can’t win the award for Best Costume at the Halloween party by just wearing a mask you bought at the party store. No, you have to go all out, fake blood, open wounds, all that. You have to go all the way. And getting Fred Durst to model the D3 2001 we made with Osiris was fully committing to honoring the true legacy of this shoe.

Anytime we mentioned to someone ahead of the release that we were dropping an Osiris D3, people were taken aback. The general consensus was “for real?” And when we convinced them that we weren’t joking and we were all in on the concept, the next thing they would usually say was, “you have to get Fred Durst to wear them.” Duh, we know. Durst immortalized the chunky silhouette, placing an unlikely sneaker from a relatively small shoe company in the pantheon of sneaker culture legends.

Photo courtesy of Seu Trinh

The D3 was never truly embraced by core skaters, and the hardcore ones within the industry actually hated the shoe. But everyone else loved it, possibly because it was such a polarizing shoe in the culture. Fred loved the hate. Whether it was people trashing Limp Bizkit, or his brash style, or his larger-than-life Osiris sneakers, Fred welcomed all backlash and fed off of it. It fueled him.

Fred Durst is truly one of the most fascinating characters of the 90s and 2000s because, for as much as parents and critics called what he and Limp Bizkit were creating stupid, it was truly genius. Like Eminem and Tom Green and the minds behind Jackass, Fred knew that kids just wanted something to love that they weren’t supposed to. As a middle schooler, it felt dangerous to listen to Limp Bizkit. When Significant Other blew up, I had to hear it at my friend’s house from his older brother’s collection. Then, in 2001, when Limp Bizkit released their highly anticipated follow-up, I knew I had to get my hands on it. I wasn’t relying on friend’s brothers or anything like that. I needed this album. I ultimately had to sneak Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water into my house two or three different times. The first time, I got it at the mall with some friends and kept it in my backpack at all times, only pulling it out to put the CD in my Discman before the case went back into hiding. It was the jewel cases that would always get yerboi tangled up with the authorities (read: my mom). Anytime Ma Dukes found a CD with a Parental Advisory sticker on it, I was done for. It was awful. She’d sit me down in the living room, put the CD into the 5-disc changer we had, and we’d listen together front-to-back while she read the lyric booklet. Then, if it was horrifying enough in her opinion (it always was), she’d dispose of the contraband. She wasn’t mad, she was disappointed.

Photo courtesy of Seu Trinh

When I told Fred Durst about the traumatizing Chocolate Starfish incident with my mom, he laughed for a second and said, “Oh my God, please tell your mother I’m sorry from the bottom of my heart. I wasn’t thinking about those elements when making our albums, especially that one. I’m really sorry, mom.” Then he asked if my mom realized the “Chocolate Starfish” on the album cover were buttholes. Thankfully, she did not.

The situation wasn’t all that different from the Osiris D3. When I was in middle school, I wanted the same skate shoes I saw in the music videos and on the cool kids. But the D3 was expensive. All those tech features and intricate details on the shoe really added up on the bottom line, making the basic and much more mom-friendly clearance Airwalks and Etnies the usual compromise. I went through shoes like water, between fucking them up beyond repair or growing out of them, so Mom couldn’t reasonably justify spending the extra cheddar on this D3 monstrosity. Like all of the music and movies and pop culture that was just beyond my reach pre-Limewire, the D3 was just a figment of my imagination — something for my adolescent heart to lust after until girls filled the void.

I assure you that Fred Durst and I talked about way more than just my mom and her disdain for Limp Bizkit. Read on for the full conversation, and see Limp Bizkit on tour if they come near your hometown because 20 years later, they’re still a riot waiting to happen.

DUKE LONDON: Tell us about your history with the D3. Who introduced you to it, how did you start wearing them?
FRED DURST: I was always into skating and skate apparel. It started with Vans and then Vision Streetwear. It was the kind of stuff I liked. When Limp Bizkit was put together, I was still skating a lot. I started skating in some Superstars and Campus from Adidas just because I always used to wear them. I could skate in anything flat, really. I never wanted to be too detached from the feel of the board. The shoes started to get bigger and fatter, they really started growing so I started trying some of those kinds out. DC had this one sneaker that I liked to wear, but then the Osiris came out. I remember seeing the D3 in a skate shop and thought the design was dope. I’m really into all of the little details, the fat tongue. I was like there’s no way anyone could skate in them. I found out who the skater was and hadn’t heard of the guy. How does he have a shoe? The design is dope and I get that the shoes are sometimes bigger than the skater. I started rocking the shoe, I really loved that big fatty puffy moon boot. Some colleagues and peers that I really respect in the skateboarding world always wanted to make sure I knew that skater didn’t deserve the success of the shoe. I didn’t care. I hope he’s a billionaire right now because the D3 is dope. It’s about the shoe right, or is it about the skater? Which one is this about? I’m going for the shoe. That’s what it was about for me, not the skater.

Dave Mayhew was the skate who had the D3 as a pro model and he actually ran off with the design to Under Armor like two years ago for an A$AP Rocky collaboration. It was lame.
Are you kidding?

I wouldn’t joke with you about that. There is an Under Armor knock-off of the D3.
I don’t know anything about Under Armor. I know football players wear them. It was always just about the shoe, honestly. It wasn’t about the skater. Even after Steve Berra got hurt, his shoe was on fire after he took a break for a long time. I didn’t give it much thought when I wore the D3 in the sleeves of my CD covers and we didn’t get permission for anything, I was just wearing them in the studio when we took the picture. I was never trying to push the shoes. In the “My Generation” video, I built a plexiglass stage and we were shooting underneath it. Of course, the shoes are in the whole video and the fisheye lens is making it look fatter than it actually was. I saw a picture of me on stage with Christina Aguilera and I’m wearing the D3 and it looks so strange because I have these skinny little legs with these fat shoes. I wore them with no socks, too, and damn I thought that was dope. I still think it’s dope. [Laughs]

That was the 2000 MTV VMAs. Did you have anyone from MTV or stylists telling you, “Please don’t wear those.”
Oh yeah. That was the thing, too. They always wanted you to do something different or what they think you should be like. I don’t know, you look back at what you were wearing a long time ago and go, “Damn, we liked that?” That was a phase when I was getting out of my comfort zone and really into buying shoes. I could never buy stuff before. I was always wearing Dickies and second-hand Adidas and Vans. I never got new stuff. It was always throw-me-downs from friends. We were a really poor family. Finally being able to buy new stuff and going to a skate shop and being like “oh my god what are these?” And you can just buy them. It was a great feeling. Then they started giving them to me. DC got really mad at me because of that. I didn’t even know that they would get upset because I was rocking DC a lot. Danny Way and Rob Dyrdek are in the video and stuff and they’re giving me sneakers. But when I found D3s, they were the dopest to me. I’m rocking the D3 a lot and DC is like, “What are you doing? You can’t do that.” I wasn’t getting paid or anything by them but I was getting kick downs. I thought I could wear any shoes I want whenever I want to wear them. That day I happened to be wearing those fat D3s but I guess I wasn’t supposed to do that. We had a falling out after that. The D3 got me in trouble with DC, 100 percent.

With new fans just discovering Limp Bizkit now and shoes like the D3 regaining popularity after 20 years, how long do you think it takes for something to go away and then become cool again?
It’s like a boomerang effect. You’ll be lucky if it ever comes back to you. Somehow, for some reason with Limp Bizkit, it came and took off. It became a beast, this gorilla. There’s not really anything special about me, I’m just a normal person. I feel there’s nothing that makes me insanely significant artistically or anything on that level. My Tyler Durden was able to just turn on and be this other person. You’re on this peak and everyone loves pushing you up there but man, do they love to kick you off and watch you go down, too. Then you’re down in the valley getting back to normal, thank God. It’s normal again, we can just be cool and normal, we did it. Then, somehow they’re pushing you back up the mountain again like this is crazy after all that drama and all that shit talking and all that madness? The irony is insane but don’t ever forget it’s not all that fun up there. You can’t breathe, you’re by yourself, and everyone is down there looking up at you. You don’t want to get back up there. I’m so grateful for everything, I’m just really truly, profoundly grateful for everything that has ever happened, but I don’t have any business being on top of anything. I don’t want it, I don’t give a fuck about it. I don’t wish it on anybody unless I can prepare them for it. That’s why I like managing artists now, just to get them a little bit ready. Coming back with this shoe, it’s here for a minute, for like a second in the big scheme of things. And then there is no fat shoe world, it’s not happening anymore. It’s amazing that it’s cool right now, though. I’m stoked that it’s popping again right now, that I get to do something with The Hundreds because this shoe was cool to me 20 years ago. I look at my son rocking these fatties right now, these big old clanky whatevers he comes home with and I’m like, “dude you’re going to get so tired of that. Your feet and legs are going to get tired of that. But have fun while you love it. Rock it now, own it, and never worry about it. Keep evolving.

Was it difficult to perform live on stage in the D3?
I never thought about it, I just loved them and that’s what I was rocking. I accepted it. Today, as I’ve been wearing them, I’m thinking “damn could I rock these things again?” I’m already back to rocking JNCOs again, I’m back to the fatties. Not the rave ones just the fatty. They’re amazing, I rocked them at the Troubadour show the other night. I want to see really long clown-like arms, big fat hands, and huge hoodies. Strange torsos, big legs, and fat shoes and this goliath-looking distorted forced perspective. I love when people look like graffiti characters. That’s what the shoes were to me, graffiti characters coming to life. It was the fat shoes and the fat pants to me, the 90s nailed it. When it came to skinny jeans, that time was already way before. That was like Dwight Yoakam and some California country shit. I don’t know if any of these new rappers know it, but that shit is played out already. But people always hated what I was wearing. Steve Berra actually was hired by Stance Magazine to come to tear me up. To them, this guy is skating in his video and wearing skate shoes and all this and that. Steve and I sat down and he was like, “I just came here to tear you apart but you’re a real skater. You actually skate, you know what you’re talking about.” We skated together and became really close friends at the time. We were inseparable for a while.

BOBBY HUNDREDS: Do you remember what issue that was? Is it the one with you on the cover? I was working for Stance at that time as an intern.
It might be. It’s the only one I’ve done. But Steve Berra did the story and I was always really happy with the way it came out. I was ready for it because I love his skating, I love his style and what he has accomplished is incredible. I always thought he was bold and hard and they would say so-and-so guy did that on that rail and then here’s Steve and you’d go OH MY GOD. I was a huge Gonz and Rodney Mullen guy, but what Berra was doing was where it was at. When Steve and I finally talked, he was like, “Well, I came for this reason but it would be wrong of me to do that.” So that was full circle, first I was this guy in Limp Bizkit that they hated, just so obnoxious. He’s wearing these shoes and he has skaters in his music videos. Then we became friends. With Limp Bizkit, our job was to get people’s attention, we had to rise above the noise. We’d make another video and try to make it even crazier and more obvious that we were trolling, but people just never caught on. I’ve never wanted to talk about it because it would have been cool for people to get it on their own. I’m obsessed with Andy Kaufman, still to this day, just so baffled and intrigued by this guy.

[Bobby recorded his own full interview with Fred Durst that you’ll be able to hear on his upcoming podcast series, This Is Not a Podcast]

Photo courtesy of Ben Shmikler

Today, you have to troll and be a caricature to rise above the noise.
I love it. It’s fun. Now it’s really fun, it’s like getting tickled to death. It’s hilarious. Also, even if I’m trolling, I want it to be dope. Even though Limp Bizkit was trolling, the shit was dope and you couldn’t question our ability. My drummer is a human MPC, he’s got that swing and that crusty SB1200 pocket. My guitar player is ridiculous. I was just the conductor.

You guys were hard to pin down, stylistically.
We really are still to this day, we don’t have one. I would come in one day like let’s do a cover of “Faith” and oh man I love this Cure song, let’s do a Cure song. We were all over the place and anyone who took the time to listen to the record was probably a little confused. There’s an artist that I work with now who is similar, his name is Bones.

From Seshollowaterboyz?
Yeah. He’s amazing because he can do a song that sounds like an 80s ballad and his fans are singing it at high volume. He can be so diverse. He has several personas and everything he does has all these colors and different things. Bones is this character that’s an almost paranormal, dark and crazy guy. He’s really smart and he doesn’t limit himself. That’s why I relate to him so much. He’s like a young version of me who’s more aware, more in tune, cooler, and more talented. For Limp Bizkit, we were the only ones trying to be so unconventional at the time. Our peers like Korn and Deftones were very consistent. We’re just not one-dimensional. Honestly, I’m going to go listen to Chet Baker tonight probably at home and check out some crazy zen shit.

What have you been listening to lately and what are you into now?
I’m all over the place. Since Soundcloud launched, I’ve been scouring it for new music. It’s refreshing to find someone that sounds like they made it in their bedroom and it’s off on purpose and still very poppy. I really love that honesty and the pure element of people going “all I got is this crappy Dell and I made this beat and I recorded myself singing and it sounds whack” but I can tell it’s amazing. I remember when I first got turned onto this artist Lil Peep a long time ago. I went damn this guy has a weird style, it’s something different. I love finding that kind of stuff. When I stumbled across Bones, my dude John Carnage put me onto him. This kid is tripping but it sounds dope, and even to this day, he’s still just on GarageBand on his laptop. That’s all he uses. I don’t care what style of music, I love crazy styles. A lot of people don’t know I signed She Wants Revenge. I met them and loved those guys, signed them but we didn’t want anyone to know so we made sure not to put Interscope on there and not to put my record label. I had to fight the label to not put them on the record so people thought they were independent. I’m always scouring. My playlist is a mixture of either something that makes me feel good and maybe some familiarity from the 70s. With current stuff, I’m always tuning in but it’s so easy to tune it out, too.

Photo courtesy of Ben Shmikler

Directing films was your original goal, you said that’s why you started Limp Bizkit. Has that been fulfilling and will you keep directing?
This is my third film and it was very low budget and difficult to complete. I did it because one of my great friends passed away, his name is Bill Paxton. He’s a great actor. I wrote the script for him years and years ago, we were going to do it like a bro project and he passed away. I was at his memorial and his family asked me to sing one of Bill’s favorite songs, a real Van Morrison song. I’m not a singer. I tried and I did it. After that memorial, I had this epiphany that I needed to make this movie for Bill. I don’t care how I have to do it or whose money I’m going to use. I finally made that movie and it’s really interesting and different. I just kind of always wanted to be a filmmaker. I saw a documentary when I was younger called The Heart of Darkness, about the making of Apocalypse Now, and it just blew my mind. Luckily, my family loved great music and great movies. I got to see Chinatown and Badlands and stuff like that, really cool movies. I just always wanted to tell stories and I was fascinated by putting stuff together. I like how this podcast came together, the pieces that make things. Movie-making is fascinating to me, how one scene might take two days to make but it looks like it happened in 30 seconds. I just became fascinated and the band was an easy way to direct, but I didn’t think the band was going to pop off like that. Now I can’t be a director. I can direct music videos, that’s the only thing I have time for. So now I’m trying to do it but of course, you take meetings and you’re the singer of Limp Bizkit. You’re plagued. Once you’re a musician, you’re plagued as a filmmaker because you can’t be a filmmaker, you’re a musician and that’s kind of a stigma. But I really love the filmmaking process. There’s a lot of barnacles in that industry, though. It’s crazy. The people who care about the actual final product and the impact the experience has is a very small percentage of people that are making them. It’s a game and a business out there. Maybe one day, I’ll be able to fund my own stuff and just make stuff because I want to.


The Hundreds X Osiris D3 2001 will be available Thursday, June 20th on The Hundreds App and Online Shop.

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