Linkin Park’s Mike Shinoda shares first band photo with Chester Bennington

ABC/Randy HolmesLinkin Park‘s Mike Shinoda has shared the first photo the band took with their late frontman, Chester Bennington.

The picture, which is dated 1997 or 1998, shows a very young Bennington and Shinoda standing next to the rest of the group: guitarist Brad Delson, bassist Dave “Phoenix” Farrell, turntablist Joe Hahn, and drummer Rob Bourdon.

“We had just told Chester that we wanted him to join the band,” Shinoda writes in the Instagram caption. “He said he was ready to move out from Arizona to L.A. We went to a pizza place near UCLA to hang out and talk about what to do next.”

“The band was called Xero at the time, and we probably had less than a half a dozen songs,” he continues. “No flame tattoos yet, no red hair yet, most of us were still in college.”

Shinoda shared vocal duties with Bennington in Linkin Park, and the pair’s give-and-take vocal style became a signature part of the band’s sound. When news of Bennington’s death first broke, Shinoda wrote that he was “shocked and heartbroken.”

Bennington died by suicide last Thursday, July 20. He was 41.

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1997 or 1998…I think this was the first photo we ever took together. We had just told Chester…

— Mike Shinoda (@mikeshinoda) July 24, 2017