Linkin Park vocalist Mike Shinoda recently recalled how Linkin Park “pranked” Metallica during their joint tour. He went on to note how he was the only band to have ever done anything similar.
Metallica’s security couldn’t hold back Linkin Park, who ended up having a picnic right on Metallica’s stage as the thrash giants were ripping through “Ride the Lightning”.
The endearing anecdote was shared by Mike Shinoda during a recent interview with Australia’s Triple M radio station, and the musician notes how the whole thing took place at the height of Linkin Park’s fame, when the golden children of nu metal toured with Metallica during 2003’s “Summer Sanitarium” bonanza.
The prank was by no means mean-spirited, as Shinoda noted how everyone from Linkin Park was a massive Metallica fan, and their older colleagues conducted themselves in the same cordial manner (transcription via Blabbermouth):
“They were the sweetest guys — every single one of them, incredible. Just so down to earth and thoughtful and complimentary too. They were really sweet about, like, they loved our show. Each of them made a point… I had a conversation with every guy in that band, and they each made a point to say, like, ‘I really like what you’re doing and you guys are, like, in terms of an opener, so, so, so great. Good people and I love the music.’ So we felt really emboldened; we felt comfortable with these guys.”
As for the prank itself, Shinoda notes how it was made possible thanks to a security guard who used to work for Linkin Park:
“We were like, ‘Hey, Tom, at the end of tours, a lot of times, people will prank each other. You think we could prank Metallica?’ And he was [James] Hetfield’s guy. And he’s, like, ‘Well, I don’t know if you know this, but that’s never been done. But I think I can work it out.'”
“And so the next thing the Metallica guys know, they’re in the middle of — I don’t remember what song, but they they’re in the middle of it. And we came out with a blanket and a picnic basket and little almost like lunch boxes and things. They had this platform behind them. Chester [Bennington, Linkin Park vocalist] comes out. He has a skateboard. And we go up to the middle of it, and we pull out sandwiches and sodas, and we start having a picnic on their stage. And they’re doing, like, ‘Ride The Lightning’. [People are] trying to take ’em seriously, and Chester’s literally skating back and forth behind them eating a sandwich.”
Mike notes how it took a second for the penny to drop, with Lars Ulrich in particular being completely bamboozled:
“The guys in the band — I think Lars lost the plot entirely… They figured it out very [quickly]. ‘Cause nobody goes on stage with them. So they were, like, ‘What the hell’s happening?’ It was awesome.