If you’re a successful, boundary-pushing band it’s inevitable that you’ll inspire a flood of inferior copyists.
And there’s nothing you can do about it.
In Rage Against the Machine‘s case, they inadvertently helped to create one of the most maligned genres in recent history: nu-metal.
Such was the power of the incendiary Los Angeles rap-metal group’s 1990s work that it inevitably created a wave of pale imitations, as bands like Limp Bizkit, Papa Roach and Sum 41 took things in a much more commercial, MTV-friendly direction.
And last year, at a show in New York, Limp Bizkit frontman Fred Durst dedicated a cover of ‘Killing in the Name’ to RATM, saying: “This is dedicated to the rap-rock band that started this shit.”
He added that Zach de la Rocha’s famous screamed refrain of “Fuck you! I won’t do what you tell me!” changed his life.
Durst might be regretting those heartfelt comments now, because the feeling certainly isn’t mutual.
In an interview to be published in Rolling Stone, RATM bassist Tim Commerford went as far as apologising for inspiring bands like Limp Bizkit, who he wrongly assumed had already broken up:
“I do apologize for Limp Bizkit. I really do. I feel really bad that we inspired such bullshit.
“They’re gone, though. That’s the beautiful thing. There’s only one left, and that’s Rage, and as far as I’m concerned, we’re the only one that matters.”
Commerford also recalled the time he crashed the stage during the MTV Video Music Awards in 2000, when Limp Bizkit beat RATM to Best Rock Video, and he climbed 20 feet up the giant backdrop to the stage.
“It’s aged like wine. What was uncomfortable and a little bit bitter in 2000, now I savor it. I get more people that come up to me now. Back in 2000, it was like, ‘Dude, I saw you do that. What was that all about?’ Now, it’s like, ‘Dude, I saw you do that. That was so fuckin’ awesome! I love that.’ It feels more comfortable now to talk about.”