In news that is ripping your vinyl CD wallet apart, Staind’s Aaron Lewis and Limp Bizkit’s Wes Borland are fucking going at it right now. It all started—well, it all started back in the late ‘90s, when Limp Bizkit’s Fred Durst signed Staind to Flip Records, tying the mewling rap-metal imps with the barrel-voiced groan-rock titans forever. Two full, productive decades of critically and commercially adored work later, Borland—always the thinking man’s nu-metal guitarist—told a story on a podcast about running into Lewis in an airport. Here’s a transcription from Blabbermouth:
Aaron Lewis came up to me in an airport randomly. I was visiting my parents in Jacksonville and flying back to L.A. And… I just happened to run into him and hadn’t seen him in awhile. He goes, ‘Where are you headed?’ And I went, ‘I’m going home.’ And he goes, ‘Home?’ and I went, ‘Yeah, I just visited my parents. I’m going back home to L.A.’ And, for the record, I’ve lived in L.A. longer than I’ve lived in any other city in my life. And he goes… Aaron looks at me and he kind of turns his chin up and he goes, ‘Nah, man. Remember where you came from. Florida is your home, not L.A. That’s home.’ And I just went, ‘Fuck you, man.’ And I never talked to him again after that.
That all sounds about right, with Borland as the coastal elite and Lewis as the chest-thumping good ol’ boy (who now, incidentally, has a successful second career as a patriotic-as-fuck country singer). But Borland continued:
That guy is such a dickhead. So full of himself, such a dickhead. I wish nothing but the worst for him. Amen. I could not believe the audacity and just, like, pretentiousness—especially for somebody that acts like they’re like a country boy now and they’re from Illinois. Anyway, digusting person. No, thanks. I don’t wanna a shit talker, but I have no problem talking shit about that guy. He’s terrible.
This is some shit that you do not just say about Aaron Lewis and get away with. Accordingly, he responded from the stage at a show in Las Vegas, essentially telling the same story, but this time he was right and Borland was a prick—or, in his phrasing, a “motherfucking bougie motherfucker riding on a fucking golf cart in the airport to his gate.”
Then he dedicated his next song to Fred Durst. It was “Outside.”
Borland is now taking this shit to Instagram, which is unquestionably the best social platform for celebrity passive aggression.
It’s unclear what Cold, Dope, Big Hate, and the rest of the Flip Records roster think about this beef, but rest assured they will all get sucked into its chugging, seven-string vortex of pain soon enough. We all may. When the history books are written of the coming culture wars, if there are any left to write them, we will remember darkly the moment when Wes Borland and Aaron Lewis argued over whether or not Wes Borland was from Jacksonville.