This Saturday night, the Epicenter Festival looks to party like it's 1999, and we're not talking Prince. In one of the most aggressive music lineups we've ever seen, the Forum is set to be rocked by an intimidating lineup from the other side of the Willennium, headlined by Limp Bizkit. (The only non-'90s survivor on the entire bill, oddly, is hardcore rapper Hopsin.)
Since you may have not been keeping up with your rap-rock and nu-metal for the past 15 years, here's our quick refresher on what the Epicenter bands have been up to.
Bizkit fans are celebrating 2015 as “20 Years of Bizkit,” but that doesn’t quite factor in that five of those years were spent on hiatus. After guitarist Wes Borland rejoined the band in 2004 for their The Unquestionable Truth (Part 1) album, the group remained largely dormant following a Greatest Hitz compilation released the following year.
During that down time, Bizkit turntabilist DJ Lethal joined underground supergroup La Coka Nostra with Ill Bill, Everlast and a few promising up-and-coming MCs such as Slaine. Wes Borland stayed busy with his band Black Light Burns, and briefly played with Marilyn Manson and The Color of Violence. Durst spent most of these years behind the camera, directing the feature films The Longshots (starring Ice Cube) and The Education of Charlie Banks.
The group reformed in 2009 and released a new album, Gold Cobra, in 2011. While it peaked at 16 on the Billboard 200, the release wasn’t enough for the group and label Interscope to continue their relationship. The group were free agents until early 2012, when Lil Wayne announced that the group had signed to Cash Money. A handful of Ross Robinson-produced songs from their announced Cash Money debut, Stampede of the Disco Elephants, leaked into circulation before Durst announced an amicable split last autumn, citing the label’s busy-ness and the group’s desire to independently do their own thing. According to Borland, the album should be out sometime this year.
Unlike the other acts on Epicenter’s bill, Korn never really had a period of hiatus. While they’ve gone through a handful of lineup changes over the years, they’ve also proven able to reunite, as the only original member missing from the current lineup is drummer David Silveria, who left in 2006. Frequently jumping labels, from Epic to Virgin to Roadrunner to their current home on Prospect Park/Caroline, they’ve incorporated numerous popular genres into their soundscape to maintain mainstream relevance. From the chopped-and-screwed elements in their mid-2000s output, to working with pop-production team The Matrix, to incorporating dubstep and EDM for 2011’s The Path of Totality, the group has remained a force in the rock world.
Punk/thrash icons Suicidal Tendencies have one of the most iconic names in the genre, instantly recognizable even by people who’ve never heard the band’s music. While they’ve gone on a handful of hiatuses during their three-decade career, they’ve been touring regularly for a decade now — an impressive feat, considering they’ve only put out one album of new material this millennium, 2013’s 13. Sadly, the band’s bassist Tim “Rawbiz” Williams passed away last year at the age of 30 after four years with the group, but ST continue to play on. The group recently got props from rapper Ice-T’s rock band Body Count, who covered their seminal hit “Institutionalized” last January.
With a name that stands for Payable on Death, P.O.D. had one of the longest runs of any of the nu-metal bands that emerged in the late '90s, thanks in part to listeners flocking to the Christian band’s inspirational lyrics in wake of 9/11, which coincidentally was the day the group released their best-selling album, Satellite. While they continued on through the mid-2000s with a few lineup changes and a progressively more traditional, dark metal sound, the group canceled all their tour dates and abruptly went on hiatus in late 2008. P.O.D. reunited in 2010 and recently crowd-funded an acoustic album, SoCal Sessions, which was released last year.
House of Pain
The House of Pain is back in effect, y’all. After rappers Everlast and Danny Boy and turntablist DJ Lethal announced their split on the release day of their 1996 album, Truth Crushed to Earth Shall Rise Again, all three went in very different directions. Lethal, as mentioned earlier, joined Limp Bizkit, Danny Boy entered the art world, and Everlast found another solo career (pre-House, he’d been a standout on Ice-T’s Rhyme Syndicate label) with one of 1998's biggest crossover singles, “What It’s Like.” After winning a Grammy for his Santana collaboration “Put Your Lights On,” Everlast surprisingly signed with Def Jam for one album, 2004’s White Trash Beautiful. In the mid-2000s, he and Lethal found themselves in the same group again as part of La Coka Nostra, and both reunited with Danny Boy for a one-off reunion at the second annual Epicenter Festival in 2010.
The Epicenter festival comes to the Forum in Inglewood on Saturday, March 14. Tickets and more info.