Chester Bennington Remembered by Linkin Park Bandmate Mike Shinoda in Epic Throwback Photo

“1997 or 1998 … I think this was the first photo we ever took together,” musician writes in Instagram post

Last Updated: July 24, 2017 @ 4:56 PM

Mike Shinoda isn’t waiting until Throwback Thursday to honor his deceased bandmate Chester Bennington.

The Linkin Park musician took to Instagram on Monday to honor Bennington via a photo from the group’s nascent days, before they were even known as Linkin Park.

“1997 or 1998 … I think this was the first photo we ever took together,” Shinoda wrote in a caption accompanying the photo. “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 musician continued, “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 was found dead last week in his Southern California home, the coroner’s office later determined the cause of death to be hanging. The musician was found on what would have been the 53rd birthday of his friend, Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell, who also took his own life by hanging in May.

News of Bennington’s death followed just hours after Linkin Park released their latest music video, “Talking to Myself.”

On Monday, Linkin Park issued a letter addressed to Bennington regarding his death.

“Our hearts are broken. The shockwaves of grief and denial are still sweeping through our family as we come to grips with what has happened,” the group said.

“Talking with you about the years ahead together, your excitement was infectious,” the letter continued. “Your absence leaves a void that can never be filled-a boisterous, funny, ambitious, creative, kind, generous voice in the room is missing. We’re trying to remind ourselves that the demons who took you away from us were always part of the deal.”