Mike Shinoda Shared the First Photo Linkin Park Ever Took as a Band

BURBANK, CA - MAY 22: (L-R) Brad Delson, Mike Shinoda and Chester Bennington of Linkin Park perform on stage at the iHeartRadio Album Release Party presented by State Farm at the iHeartRadio Theater Los Angeles on May 22, 2017 in Burbank, California. (Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images for iHeartMedia)

Linkin Park singer Chester Bennington passed away last week. This afternoon, Mike Shinoda posted what he believes is the first photo Linkin Park ever took as a band, and dated the photo to 1997-98.

“We had just told Chester that we wanted him to join the band,” Shinoda explained in the Instagram post. “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. No flame tattoos yet, no red hair yet, most of us were still in college.”

Earlier today, Linkin Park shared a group statement dedicated to Bennington. “Our love for making and performing music is inextinguishable,” the letter said. “While we don’t know what path our future may take, we know that each of our lives was made better by you. Thank you for that gift.” Over the weekend, they officially canceled a tour set to begin this weekend.

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