On the same day that Linkin Park released their first statement about the death of frontman Chester Bennington, saying, “Our hearts are broken,” co-founder Mike Shinoda shared the first group shot ever taken of the band.
“1997 or 1998…I think this was the first photo we ever took together,” wrote Shinoda on Instagram. “We had just told Chester that we wanted him to join the band. 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.”
Bennington died on Thursday at age 41 after hanging himself at a private residence in Palo Verdes Estates, the L.A. Coroner’s Office told EW. Shinoda confirmed the news hours later, writing on Twitter, “Shocked and heartbroken, but it’s true.”
GALLERY: Chester Bennington’s Life in Photos
Since Bennington’s death, the Grammy winners have canceled the North American leg of their One More Light Tour and their co-headlining tour with Blink-182.
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).