Mike Shinoda reveals how Linkin Park pranked Metallica on tour with a picnic basket and sandwiches

James Hetfield on stage and Mike Shinoda in the studio on The Howard Stern Show
(Image credit: Ricardo Rubio/Europa Press | The Howard Stern Show)

Linkin Park vocalist Mike Shinoda has recounted the time the band decided to prank Metallica on stage 20 years ago. 

Speaking to Howard Stern on SiriusXM's The Howard Stern Show, Shinoda explained that Linkin Park were invited to join Metallica on the 2003 leg of their North American Summer Sanitarium tour, on a bill which also featured Limp Bizkit, Deftones and Mudvayne

While Metallica have a history of pranking their support acts – most famously hiring male strippers to add some spice to Queensrÿche's set on the Damaged Justice tour in 1989 – no-one has dared prank the headliners themselves. Well, until Linkin Park decided to add their own brand of mischief, that is.

"Their show was always so tough and dark, so we were like, 'What would be the least tough, least dark thing to do?'," says Shinoda. "We ended up going out with a picnic basket and little sandwiches and drinks and Chester [Bennington] had a skateboard and skated out on stage. They were playing Master of Puppets and we set up a picnic right above Lars.

"We had gotten the go-ahead from their head of security and he promised he wouldn't take us out," he adds. "The guys were laughing. It's weird to be able to say that we knew them just well enough to know James wasn't going to knock my teeth out."

Watch the full exchange in the clip below.

Last week, Linkin Park released Lost, a previously unheard track from the 2003 Meteora sessions alongside an animated video.

Lost comes as part of a special 20th anniversary reissue of Meteora, which lands on April 7 in a wealth of new formats, including a Limited Edition Super Deluxe Box Set, 4 LP Deluxe Vinyl Box Set, 3-disc Deluxe CD and digital. 

Simon Young

Born in 1976 in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Simon Young has been a music journalist for over twenty years. His fanzine, Hit A Guy With Glasses, enjoyed a one-issue run before he secured a job at Kerrang! in 1999. His writing has also appeared in Classic RockMetal HammerProg, and Planet Rock. His first book, So Much For The 30 Year Plan: Therapy? — The Authorised Biography is available via Jawbone Press.