Korn and Limp Bizkit recently announced a joint headline tour that hits the UK in December. Weirdly, two of their UK tribute acts, Korn Again and Stiff Bizkit, are currently in the middle of exactly the same joint outing: the Family Values Tribute Tour. They started in June and finish, like Biz/Korn, in December. We spoke to the two tribute acts about their idols, nu-metal, and sleeping next to dead pigeons…
You started your joint tour in June – did Korn and Bizkit nick the idea of touring together from you?
Korn Again: “Korn and Bizkit have a very strong musical bond that stems from years of touring together during the early stages of their careers, so maybe they’ve acknowledged what we were up to and thought “Fuck it, lets get it going again! It’s a possibility.”
Stiff Bizkit: “We totally stole the idea off them, although we booked these shows first! Back in the ‘90s they did the original Family Values tour, an annual tour started by Korn that had loads of bands from that era on – but most famously it was Korn and Bizkit. “It’s great to see them playing together again. Now nu-metal’s making a comeback it adds that sense of nostalgia alongside the excitement of new material.”
How do you decide who headlines the show?
Stiff Bizkit: “We try and do the tour as authentically as possible, so Korn get the top slot as it’s their tour! We have been known to invade their sets to do the odd rendition of ‘All In The Family’ though…”
Will nu-metal ever die? Why is it having a resurgence?
Korn Again: “Honestly, I think nu-metal will die again as it did before. But just like any style of popular music, it will be reborn and reinvented to become popular again. At the moment it’s great for us because there’s a resurgence happening. People are listening to it again, talking about it and going to see it. And with the recent announcement of Korn and Bizkit’s tour, nu-metal is definitely back!”
Stiff Bizkit: “Nah, it’ll never die. It has so many fond memories for so many people. It’s never really gone away, it’s always been there lurking around the corner, the bands still get consistent play on music channels, and the tribute shows are always full of people wanting to see that music in a live venue.
“Saying that, it is totally having a resurgence at the moment, all the original bands are bringing back elements of their original sounds to their new material (especially Korn), and the kids that listened to them are still plenty young enough to show today’s youth (usually their own kids) how to mosh!”
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What kinds of things do you want to see the crowds wearing at your shows?
Stiff Bizkit: “For us it’s all about the red hats. If the people don’t bring them, we throw a bunch out during the set. Nothing better than seeing hundreds of red hands bouncing in the pit!”
What kinds of things from Korn/Limp Bizkit’s live show do you take inspiration from?
Korn Again: “We replicate everything, from their gear, layout, clothes, props and even the way they move on stage. A main focal point for Korn Again has to be JD’s mic stand, which we put a lot of effort into replicating ourselves. Things like that – the mic stand, bagpipes, sparkling Adidas tracksuits and hanging blow-up sex dolls – separate Korn from the rest. If people come to see one of our shows they’ll get all of it – we don’t miss a thing.”
Stiff Bizkit: “With Bizkit a huge part of their live show is Wes (Borland) and his costumes. He has so many unique live personas, people see him and instantly know they’re at a Bizkit show. There’s not really anyone else like it, having the juxtaposition of a single person being so visually creative makes them stand out from the other full costume bands like Slipknot or Mudvayne. Trying to capture that, there’s a lot of work involved, and it doesn’t always make it easy seeing what you’re doing on stage when you’ve got a bloody great LED mask on, but it makes it super fun to play live, you can really let go and get in character. Fred (Durst)’s also really recognisable, and having a singer that’s a dead ringer helps, but over the years with his red cap he’s created a simple but iconic part of the Bizkit image.”
Have you met either of the bands?
Korn Again: “We met Korn back in 2012 at the Manchester Apollo. By this time we’d been playing for two years around the UK so we had an urgency to try and meet our heroes and show them what we were up to. Prior to the gig we had several high quality photographs printed of ourselves performing and emulating old promo shots that Korn made back in the ‘90s. With the photos and sharpies in hand we arrived several hours before doors and managed to meet’n’greet with all of them except for JD. Munky (guitar) was so impressed with the photographs that he pulled out his iPhone and snapped a shot of us posing and dressed as Korn! Within the hour he had posted it to Twitter including a caption that simply read “Korn tribute, Wow!, double take”. That was quite an amazing feeling when it went viral!”
Stiff Bizkit: “We haven’t met them personally, but we have had Fred Durst comment on some of our Instagram (@stiffbizkituk) videos which was awesome!”
What’s the gnarliest thing that’s ever happened to you on tour?
Korn Again: “Once Korn Again played a show in Hastings. The venue offered to put us up for the night as part of the deal and after playing the show we were taken to a derelict apartment a few doors down. The entrance was blocked by stinking bins that we had to move to get in. It turned out the whole place was full of pigeon shit due to the broken windows in every room. We were shown into a single room that belonged to a local band and was used for practice purposes – the problem was that the room simply wasn’t big enough for the five of us, so two had to sleep elsewhere in the flat amongst the dead pigeons and mounds of shit on the window sills. It was so late that we dealt with it and tried to make the most out of a gnarly situation… with a few cans of beer and some Walkers crisps we had a pretty fun night. The trip back home was difficult though, knowing how dirty we must have been. Never again!”
Stiff Bizkit: “Our DJ kicked a pint of what he thought was beer – but it turned out to be piss – right before our set, all over his shoes. The best thing was unlimited free beer at a show in Belgium on a stonking hot day. They had to refill the fridge before we’d even played our set, and we even managed to smash the set without falling off stage.”
See Korn Again / Stiff Bizkit’s Family Values Tribute Tour dates below:
Fri 21 The Globe, Cardiff
Sat 22 The Zephyr Lounge, Leamington Spa
Sat 29 Diamond Live Lounge, Doncaster
Fri 18 The Hub, Plymouth
Sat 19 Frog & Fiddle, Cheltenham
Fri 25 Sub89 & The Bowery District, Reading
Sat 26 Krazyhouse, Liverpool
Sat 10 The Ruby Lounge, Manchester