A threatening message left by Fred Durst on TapRoot singer Steve Richards' answering machine is making the rounds among the record industry and on the Internet as an audio file, prompting a terse response from Creed
, who've been caught up in their own dispute with the Limp Bizkit
In the message, a monotoned, seemingly calm Durst admonishes TapRoot for not signing to Interscope Records, where he's been a senior vice president since last July. "Hey man, you fucked up," Durst says. "You don't ever bite the hand that feeds in this business, bro . . . Took you under my wing, brought you to my house, talked about you on FM radio and in the press, and you embarrassed me and the Interscope family. Your association with Limp Bizkit doesn't exist. Your manager slings our name around, he's going to be blackballed and probably erased, and you will, too. You need to be associated with someone, and now you got enemies. You just fucked yourself. Don't fucking show up at my shows. If you do, you're gonna be fucked. You're learning exactly right now how to ruin your career. All the luck, brother, fuck you."
The message was most likely left last fall, back when Durst was courting TapRoot. Durst soured on the band along with its management company Velvet Hammer when the rapcore group started playing showcase gigs for other labels (they eventually signed with Atlantic). Around the same time, Durst dropped TapRoot's fellow Velvet Hammer client System of a Down
from the Family Values tour, blaming TapRoot and System's shared manager David Benveniste on MTV and calling him a "piece of shit."
Though the feud would seemingly be over by now, the release of the audio file answering machine message has resurrected it, at least in Creed's eyes. The band has been in a war of the words with Durst ever since the Limp Bizkit singer dissed Creed singer Scott Stapp on stage June 23 at New York station K-Rock's Dysfunctional Family Picnic in Holmdel, New Jersey. Since then, the two bands have been releasing curt statements insulting the other, mostly for the size of the other's egos. Though Creed responded at first by sending Durst an anger management manual, the flurry of repeated insults resulted recently in Stapp challenging Durst to a boxing match (for charity).
Now, upon hearing the TapRoot tape, Creed feels Durst "has worn out his welcome as an artist spokesperson for our industry." Creed's statement says, "Fred's vulgar comments and violent threats are totally indicative of a mobster mentality that this industry has tried to rid itself of in recent years. If Fred wants to represent our industry . . . then he should consider actually reading the anger management book that we sent to him, or just return to being an artist that lets his music speak for itself."
Written by JENNIFER VINEYARD for RollingStone.com News