October 10, 2023

In a new interview with Australia's Triple M radio station, LINKIN PARK's Mike Shinoda told the story of how he and his bandmates worked up the guts to prank METALLICA in the middle of the metal legends' set when the two groups were touring together in 2003 as part of the second and final edition of the "Summer Sanitarium" package. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "One of our claims to fame is that, at the time — we may still be the only ones — we were the only one to ever prank METALLICA. So they took us out on tour, and we were opening for them in stadiums all over the U.S. for two months in the summer. And we were so nervous. We were so nervous. I loveMETALLICA. Our guitar player, grew up — that was his main reason for learning guitar and getting better at guitar. We all love METALLICA. So, we were on tour with them kind of starstruck. And at a certain point, they invited us to a bar to go hang out. And we were just, like, 'You guys. Come on. You guys.' 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."

He continued: "So at the end of the tour… Their head of security was a guy who used who worked for us for a period of time. So we knew him… 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.' 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 singer] 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. The guys in the band — I think Lars [Ulrich, METALLICA drummer] 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."

Last week, Shinoda released a new solo single, "Already Over", along with a music video for the song, directed and animated by Dusty Deen and featuring visuals contributed by Shinoda, Frank Maddocks, Mark Fiore and Mike Miller.

LINKIN PARK has been on hiatus since the death of Bennington in 2017.

A year and a half ago, Shinoda said that there are no plans for new music, albums or live shows from the band.

LINKIN PARK has not performed together in public since October 2017, when the surviving members staged a tribute concert in Los Angeles to Bennington. The band has not officially announced whether it intends to carry on following the death of Bennington, who committed suicide in July 2017 at the age of 41.

Bennington's passing was ruled a suicide soon after his body was found in July 2017 at his home in Palos Verdes Estates, California.

LINKIN PARK released a concert album titled "One More Light Live" in December 2017.

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