Born in Los Angeles on December 1, 1977, guitarist Brad Delson originally played the trumpet before inevitably being lured over to the guitar in middle school, where he became friends with fellow aspiring musician and artist Mike Shinoda. The two soon began laying down original tracks together in Shinoda's makeshift bedroom studio, and their friendship and musical collaboration continued into high school (where they attended the same school in the Agoura Hills suburb as members of Hoobastank). After Delson's early band Relative Degree fell apart, he started up the group Xero with Shinoda and former Relative Degree bandmate Rob Bourdon. Xero continued even after the guys graduated and went on to college. Delson enrolled at UCLA and became roommates with bassist Dave "Phoenix" Farrell, whom he eventually convinced to join Xero. As the guys worked the local scene, Delson graduated with a bachelor's degree in communications and decided to put off plans of attending law school the next semester to concentrate on the band, which was picking up momentum. Xero eventually changed names, picked up some members along the way, and became known as the rap-metal sextet Linkin Park. They signed with Warner Bros. in late 1999 and released their multi-platinum-selling debut, Hybrid Theory, the following year. Linkin Park's third album, Minutes to Midnight, was released in early summer 2007. Delson is known for wearing large headphones while performing live for largely unspecified reasons.