"We pull out sandwiches and sodas, and we start having a picnic on their stage": Mike Shinoda on the time Linkin Park pranked Metallica mid-show

Linkin Park, Metallica and Fred Durst
(Image credit: Annamaria DiSanto/WireImage / Getty Images)

Mike Shinoda has spoken about the time that Linkin Park pranked Metallica by staging a picnic during a gig while James Hetfield and co. were performing.

In a new interview with the hosts of The Rush Hour, on Australia's Triple M radio station, Shinoda was asked if he had any stories about "backstage antics", and admitted that Linkin Park "weren't really crazy" and so didn't have any outrageous tales to share.

"Our stuff was generally just very harmless," he tells hosts Gus, Jude & Wendell.

The rapper/singer did, however, share a story about how the LA nu metal stars pranked Metallica during their epic Summer Sanitarium stadium tour in 2003 [which also featured Limp Bizkit] with the assistance of Metallica's head of security Tom Robb.

"Their head of security was a guy who used who worked for us for a period of time," Shinoda explains. "So we knew him… his name is Hellboy. And 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.'

As Shinoda previously mentioned in an interview with Howard Stern, Linkin Park's idea was that they would find "the least dark, least tough" thing to do in order to make Metallica laugh on the final night of the tour, and they hit upon the idea of sneaking onstage to have a picnic.

"And so the next thing the Metallica guys know, they're in the middle of, like, I don't remember what song, but they they're in the middle of it," Shinoda tells the Triple M listeners. "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 [so] Chester [Bennington] 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, [and people are] trying to take them seriously, and Chester's literally skating back and forth behind them eating a sandwich. The guys in the band... I think Lars [Ulrich] lost the plot entirely… They were, like, 'What the hell's happening?' It was awesome."

You can watch the full interview with Mike Shinoda below:

Paul Brannigan
Contributing Editor, Louder

A music writer since 1993, formerly Editor of Kerrang! and Planet Rock magazine (RIP), Paul Brannigan is a Contributing Editor to Louder. Having previously written books on Lemmy, Dave Grohl (the Sunday Times best-seller This Is A Call) and Metallica (Birth School Metallica Death, co-authored with Ian Winwood), his Eddie Van Halen biography (Eruption in the UK, Unchained in the US) emerged in 2021. He has written for Rolling Stone, Mojo and Q, hung out with Fugazi at Dischord House, flown on Ozzy Osbourne's private jet, played Angus Young's Gibson SG, and interviewed everyone from Aerosmith and Beastie Boys to Young Gods and ZZ Top. Born in the North of Ireland, Brannigan lives in North London and supports The Arsenal.