Mike Shinoda Recalls Linkin Park Being The First Band To Prank Metallica

By Katrina Nattress

February 19, 2023

Photo: Getty Images

Linkin Park has always been serious about their music, while also bringing a sense of humor behind the scenes. In 2003, they toured with Metallica and decided to have some fun on the road by becoming the first band to prank the rock legends on stage.

During a recent interview, Mike Shinoda recalled the story behind the gag. “Nobody had ever pranked them on stage,” he said. “By the way, it was like four of us I think. The gag was that we wanted to do something that, well their show was always so tough and dark, and so we were like, ‘What would be the least tough, least dark thing to do?'”

“We ended up going out with a picnic basket and like little sandwiches and drinks and Chester [Bennington] had a skateboard so he skated out onstage. And then we walked out on to their stage, and they were playing, I think ‘Master Of Puppets,’ and we set up a picnic right above Lars [Ulrich],” Shinoda remembered, noting that they had planned everything with Metallica's head of security, who “promised he wouldn’t take us out.”

“But the guys were laughing. They were playing ‘Master Of Puppets’ like, turning around laughing at us,” he said, adding that they knew Metallica “just well enough to know that James [Hetfield] wasn’t gonna knock my teeth out.”

Linkin ParkMetallica
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