How Raining Blood saved Linkin Park at Ozzfest

Linkin Park at Ozzfest
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Linkin Park vocalist Mike Shinoda has revealed how he managed to win over Ozzfest crowds in 2001.

Speaking to Noisey about Slayer's iconic Reign In Blood album, Mike says it was the genre-defining Raining Blood that turned the tide in the favour of Linkin Park on their first Ozzfest tour.

"We were on the bill with Crazy Town and Papa Roach who, Sharon Osbourne admitted in an interview before the tour even started that she put all those bands on the bill, including us, for girls. That was her statement, not mine. And we were like, ‘what the fuck Sharon? You screwed us!’ We started the tour the first week and we played immediately after Crazy Town.

"So the fans were booing unforgivably before we even got to the stage. So the beginning of our set was a like an understated electronic intro with Massive Attack. We thought that this would let the Ozzfest fans know that we weren’t Crazy Town. But the metal fans didn’t know the difference between Massive Attack and Crazy Town so they were booing from the start. We had a 40 minute set and it took most of it to win the fans back.

"The next week, we were in Philly and our DJ Joe Hahn found this album in a record store and said, ‘Instead of our intro, I’m going to play Raining Blood at the beginning of our set.’ We thought that it couldn’t be any worse than what we’ve been dealing with. Why the fuck not? He played the first 60 seconds of that song and the crowd was booing before but when it started happening they went apeshit and cheered the whole set. It changed the whole tour. All we needed to do was extend an olive branch and say, ‘We get you.'”

Mike Shinoda is touring Europe early next year.

Mike Shinoda 2019 European tour
Mar 02: Berlin Columbiahalle, Germany
Mar 03: Bremen Pier 2, Germany
Mar 05: Hannover Swiss Life Hall, Germany
Mar 06: Oberhausen Turbinenhalle, Germany
Mar 08: Hamburg Sporthalle, Germany
Mar 09: Paris Zenith, France
Mar 10: London Roundhouse, UK
Mar 12: Budapest Arena, Hungary
Mar 14: Milan Fabrique, Italy
Mar 15: Padova GT Geox, Italy
Mar 17: Zurich Halle 622, Switzerland
Mar 18: Munich Zenith, Germany
Mar 19: Prague Forum Karlin, Czech Republic
Mar 21: Amsterdam AFAS Live, Netherlands
Mar 22: Ludwigsburg MHP Arena, Germany
Mar 23: Luxembourg City Luxexpo, Luxembourg