THERE ARE WORDS that speak the unspeakable, that give shape and meaning to the indescribable. Four hours into Limp Bizkit's "Put Your Guitar Where Your Mouth Is" auditions at the Westlake Avenue Guitar Center—during which the Al Qaeda of pimp metal encourages any and all comers to supplant departed axman Wes Borland—my faculties simply can't devise an appropriate summation. Luckily, frontman Fred Durst is up to the task, prefacing his State of the Bizkit address to the Seattle faithful thusly:
"Yabba dabba doobie."
Profundity, Limp Bizkit be thy name.
There is a pleasant surprise in this colorful quagmire: Durst generously refrains from playing Wizard of Oz during a daylong cattle call that attracts hundreds of guitarists of wildly varying styles, temperaments, ages, and motivations. He strolls freely about the GC grounds in a black stocking cap and North Face parka (accompanied, naturally, by a brick-wall bodyguard and SPD officers), accepting demos like Christ accepting palms. Yes, LB are taking their nationwide fan hunt seriously, inviting at least five standouts from each day's noodle-rama to jam with the band in private later that evening.
The higher powers at Flawless Records may regret advertising the tour as a "talent search," despite Durst's aptitude at break-ing Soundscan-friendly rock. To the chagrin of Danny Wimmer, Flawless' senior vice president of A&R, applicants frequently ignore the posted "NO SOLOS" disclaimer.
"I want everybody to feel like they got something out of it, you know what I mean?" he practically apologizes between the blink-and-you-miss-it one-minute auditions. Each player gets distorted and clean channels, delay, and chorus to adorn their "verse to chorus" original song. Wimmer is encouraging and sincere, requesting demos, doling out Flawless business cards, asking if kids are in bands. When the players kick into light speed, he drolly marvels, "You're a shredder, brother," but when the wankery is unbearably egregious, he delivers a stern coup de gr⣥: "I love Steve Vai, too, dude, but he sold one record and Nirvana sold, like, 30 million."
"I think I have a pretty distinct style as far as my acoustic work goes," says John Webber, 19, after his tryout. "I'm optimistic, but realistically, there's some great guitar players here. I don't know if you heard the chick from Hell's Belles, but I guess she was really great."
Indeed, Angus-aficionado Amy Stolzenbach impresses Wimmer early; by 11 a.m. she's dubbed "most original" of the participants. Word of her standout effort spreads quickly. Durst refers to her work during a 107.7 interview as "phat," then comments on the rest of our XX populace: "There are some cute ass chicks in Seattle, no doubt."
The tryouts are icon-free until noon, when Adrian Doering, 19, steps up to bat with an out-of-tune loaner. A kinetic murmur spreads as Durst's entourage disembarks the bus and weaves into the audition room. "It went OK," a somewhat starstruck Doering recounts. "I was sort of weirded out when he sat right in front of me."
As I chat with Doering, ber-resourceful Weekly photographer Robin Laananen tiptoes into the audition room and finagles a close-up of Durst. He removes his parka, flaunting the 'toos, and even compliments Robin's hair, approximately the same cherry-red shade as his beloved fucking Yankees hat. Coincidence? Come-on? You be the judge.
A day after the extended brush with Limp got her mug plastered everywhere from Q13 to CNN (!), Stolzenbach is content in a perpetual 11:59 p.m. She, too, is a realist, recounting her incredible 15 minutes as a Bizkiteer with the zeal one might ascribe to a trip to the grocery store.
"They didn't want to hear how you would play their stuff," Stolzenbach recalls. "The first idea that I played, I could tell that (Durst) got into. He was sitting there on a speaker cabinet moving his head."
Next: the Wait. Optimism and pessimism need not apply. Stolzenbach is a professional; any murmurs about her gender, her motivations, or her taste will be met with a shrug.
"I always thought their rhythm section was really, really tight, so getting to play with them was way cool. I know that people will critically assassinate them any chance they get, but it doesn't matter to me."