Chester Bennington’s Audacious Prank On Metallica, Mike Shinoda Recalls

In a new interview on Australia’s Triple M radio with the hosts of The Rush Hour, Mike Shinoda recalled the late Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington’s final-moment prank on Metallica.

The rhythm guitarist was asked if he had any wild backstage stories about Linkin Park but said they were pretty tame. However, he shared a story about a prank they played on Metallica during their 2003 Summer Sanitarium tour with the help of Metallica’s head of security, Tom Robb. Shinoda revealed:

“Their head of security was a guy who used who worked for us for a period of time. 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.'”

So, the Linkin Park members came up with a plan to go with on the last night of Metallica’s tour. Mike went on to explain the rest of the incident:

“And so the next thing the Metallica guys know, they’re in the middle of, like, I don’t remember what song, but 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 [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.”

The musician disclosed how Metallica reacted to their action, saying:

“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.”

Later, Linkin Park shared the stage with Metallica on several other occasions, including the 2006 Summer Sonic Festival in Japan, the Soundwave Music Festival in 2013, and when they headlined Rock am Ring and Rock im Park alongside Metallica in 2014.

You can watch his entire chat below.