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Park fontman Mike plays it cool as the rest of the band give him the Punk'd treatment

LINKIN Park frontman Mike Shinoda has become the latest victim of MTV's Punk'd, thanks to Ashton Kutcher.

Ashton, the face of the MTV show the equivalent of an extreme US version of Noel Edmonds' defunct Gotcha sketches regularly sets up Tinsel town celebrities Kutcher has already Punk'd pop hunk Justin Timberlake, a set-up that eventually made the heart-throb break down in tears.

They made him think that hehad been made bankrupt andwas being evicted from his home.
Linkin Park's guitarist Brad Delson and drummer Rob Bourdon were in on the Punk'd prank.

But Kutcher hadn't banked on Mike's cool nu-metal demeanour as he cranked up the skit in a bid to unsettle his latest victim.

The result of the encounter is yet to be screened in the US or UKand is being kept a closely guarded secret.

But Rob revealed: 'We set himup in a way. I had been called in to participate and thought it - would be very funny.

'The episode hasn't aired yet and we're leaving it as a surprise for fans, but Mike handled it really well and didn't get upset.

'Most people tend to get really angry or emotional but not Mike.

'They were trying to make him mad and get him to scream at somebody but he managed to keep his cool the whole time.

Hehad a calm head throughout, much to the disappointment of the cast.'
The band, who sold a staggering 14 million copies of their 2001 debut album Hybrid Theory, are heading to Scotland next month for the country's first ever Download festival.

Thetwo day rock bash at Glasgow Green on June 2 and 3 promises to be the most exciting midweek festival of its kind ever to take place on these shores.

Rock Gods Korn team up with clown-metal pioneers Slipknot, punk rockers The Distillers, Machine Head and the legendary Iggy Pop with his Stooges who join with headliners Metallica and Linkin Park.
The latter have the utmost respect for the other bands on the bill, particularly the veterans of the metal scene, Metallica.

Rob said: 'We're so looking forward to Download Scotland.We had a great time when we were last in the country. Festival shows are always a lot of fun andwe always enjoy them.

'We've beenon a break for the last couple of months and just started rehearsals last week. So we are dying to get out and play again.

'We like to change the set for every tour and we'll definitely play most of the songs people know but we like to use different interludes so it is a new show anytime people come to see us.We've toured with Metallica a lot.We did the summer stadium tour together last summer and wewere just really excited to get the chance to meet them and find out how cool they are - and what nice guys they are.
'We've only played with Korn once, in New Mexico, but we're joining themon the Projekt Revolution tour in the States.

'It's a great line-up.We've done other shows with the Lostprophets, they've opened up for us a couple of times and we're really excited about the whole bill.'

Anyone surprised by Linkin Park's loyal following should consider the 2000-strong army of volunteers who dedicate themselves to spreading the word about the band.

Rob explained: 'We established street teams from those first fans who heard us online as we started out.
'They helped promote awareness of the band.Wenow have 2000 fans in the street teams who continue to help us.We don't hire them, they just love the music andwe send them a bunch of CDsand t-shirts.

'We don't want to have anymore than 2000 in the street teams so we've capped the number who can help.
'We also have a fan club that has 60,000 members.When people join our club they get special things like advance tickets and songs that others simply don't get.

'The money we get from that is invested to do stuff for the fans.We understand how important they are and that the reason we have fans is that we take care of them.

'Most bands weknow care about their fans but the bands who don't aren't doing very well.

'I hopewe can last as long as Metallica.We are going to make our best attempt to evolve and we want to stay around for a long time.'

The Daily Record - March 28, 2004



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