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Voice-mail/answering machines. They're good for leaving brief, noncommittal messages. Threats like, "you'll never work in this business again" or "you're dead" have ringing impact only when somebody is quivering on the other end. To spew such phrases into a machine only makes the caller sound stupid and contagious.

Then there's Fred Durst. The Limp Bizkit frontman knew Rock stardom was a day to day thing. So Durst's fallback gig was being a record executive. Wise choice since that's where all the music money really is. You wouldn't think a former navy grunt like Durst would have it in him to figure that out. But there you go.

Durst and his Flip Records (distributed by Interscope) were seemingly on a mission to sign just about every group that came reasonably close to the Bizkit sound. Enter Taproot, with vocalist Stephen Richards, guitarist Mike Wolfe, bassist Philip Lipscomb and drummer Jarrod Montague. Forged together in '97, the group hailed from the heartland - Ann Arbor, MI. Sounding dark and disturbed the Metal/Rap group built an underground following that spread to Detroit and led to the recording of Taproot's self-released debut "… Something More Than Nothing…" that managed to sell a few thousand copies. Solid start. The EP "Mentobe" followed.

Around this time Taproot came to the attention of Mr. Durst who courted them heavily. However, the group decided to sign with Atlantic Records. That sent Fred over the edge. He decided to phone and give the group what for, but all he got was their answering machine. Figuring he'd gone this far, Durst left a message, dropping a couple F-bombs and concluding with "You don't ever bite the hand that feeds in the business, bro. Took you under my wing, brought you to my house and you embarrassed like, me and the Interscope family. Your manager slings our name around; he's going to be blackballed and probably erased, and you will too."

Sure, Durst had the record exec rap down pretty well, but for outright menace he was certainly no Suge Knight. To add insult to injury Taproot posted Fred's diatribe for all to download.

Taproot's major label debut "Gift" with "Smile," "Now" and "Emotional Times" hit in '00.

Taproot Discography


2000 Gift
2002 Welcome
2005 Blue-Sky Research
2008 Our Long Road Home
2010 Plead The Fifth
2012 The Episodes

"Gift" is easily Taproot's most accomplished effort. That said, the group doesn't do anything in the Metal/Rap vein that hasn't been done before. That said as well, there is a huge market Taproot's sledgehammer guitars and out of control angry/anguished raps. Earlier releases "… Something More Than Nothing…" and the EP "Mentobe" are OK with the former having a little more power.

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