Travis Meeks

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Travis Meeks
Birth nameTravis Shane Meeks
Born (1979-04-27) April 27, 1979 (age 39)
Charlestown, Indiana, United States
Genres Alternative rock, acoustic rock, grunge, post-grunge

Travis Shane Meeks (born April 27, 1979) is an American musician, and is the lead singer, guitarist and songwriter for acoustic rock band Days of the New. In recent years he has been battling drug addiction causing the break up of his 2014 reunion with Days Of The New shortly after it began for the second time. Since then he has been arrested several times for possession of narcotics and paraphernalia, served jail time and as of 2018 still struggling with substance abuse issues.

Days of the New was an American rock band from Charlestown, Indiana, formed in 1995. The band consisted of vocalist/guitarist Travis Meeks and a variety of supporting musicians that briefly included future pop star Nicole Scherzinger. They are best known for the hit singles "Touch, Peel and Stand", "The Down Town", "Shelf in the Room", and "Enemy".


Early life and career

Meeks was born on April 27, 1979 in Charlestown, Indiana. His parents divorced when he was 2, and he lived with his grandmother and father. At a young age he began playing guitar and wrote songs and performed covers by age 8. Between ages 11 to 15, he went to various rehabilitation centers and a year in special schooling. During that time, he formed an experimental rock band called Bad Dreemz which included Jesse Vest and Matt Taul. They then formed Dead Reckoning, which was a heavy metal band that sounded similar to Pantera. In 1995, Meeks moved to Louisville, and Dead Reckoning changed its name to Days of the New as well as its genre to an acoustic rock, post-grunge style. Regarding that era, Meeks stated, "I went through paranoia and acid trips, separation from the mind and body... That's where my spiritual journey begins."

Charlestown, Indiana City in Indiana, United States

Charlestown is a city in Clark County, Indiana, United States. The population was 7,585 at the 2010 census.

Experimental rock is a subgenre of rock music which pushes the boundaries of common composition and performance technique or which experiments with the basic elements of the genre. Artists aim to liberate and innovate, with some of the genre's distinguishing characteristics being improvisational performances, avant-garde influences, odd instrumentation, opaque lyrics, unorthodox structures and rhythms, and an underlying rejection of commercial aspirations.

Heavy metal is a genre of rock music that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s, largely in the United Kingdom. With roots in blues rock, psychedelic rock, and acid rock, the bands that created heavy metal developed a thick, massive sound, characterized by highly amplified distortion, extended guitar solos, emphatic beats, and overall loudness. The genre's lyrics and performance styles are sometimes associated with aggression and machismo.

Days of the New

At the age of 17, Meeks and fellow teenage band members Matt Taul, Todd Whitener and Jesse Vest were signed to a major record label. In 1997, they released their widely successful self-titled Yellow album that included the single, "Touch, Peel and Stand." The song rose to #1 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks chart and became the group's signature piece. Opening slots on tour with Jerry Cantrell and Metallica further exposed the band to fans around the country. Days of the New then set out on a headlining tour that lasted until a stop in Dallas, Texas when Meeks' father finally drove him home and canceled the remainder of the tour's shows. [1]

Touch, Peel and Stand 1998 single by Days of the New

"Touch, Peel and Stand" is a song by the rock band Days of the New and the lead single from their self-titled debut album. It was released in 1997 and remains arguably the band's most popular and well known song. The song reached #1 on the Billboard Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks chart and retained the spot for a then-record sixteen weeks. On their list of Top Mainstream Rock Songs of the Decade, the song ranked in at #8 for '97 and #4 for '98. Shortly after this success, the song rose to #6 on the Billboard Hot Modern Rock Tracks chart, becoming their first Top 10 hit on the chart.

<i>Billboard</i> (magazine) American music magazine

Billboard is an American entertainment media brand owned by the Billboard-Hollywood Reporter Media Group, a division of Eldridge Industries. It publishes pieces involving news, video, opinion, reviews, events, and style, and is also known for its music charts, including the Hot 100 and Billboard 200, tracking the most popular songs and albums in different genres. It also hosts events, owns a publishing firm, and operates several TV shows.

Jerry Cantrell American musician and songwriter

Jerry Fulton Cantrell Jr. is an American musician, singer-songwriter and guitarist best known as the founder, lead guitarist, co-lead vocalist and main songwriter of the rock band Alice in Chains. The band rose to international fame in the early 1990s during Seattle's grunge movement, and is known for its distinctive vocal style and the harmonized vocals between Cantrell and Layne Staley. Cantrell started to sing lead vocals on Alice in Chains' 1992 EP Sap. After Staley's death in 2002, Cantrell took the role of Alice in Chains' lead singer on most of the songs from the band's post-Staley albums, Black Gives Way to Blue (2009), The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here (2013) and Rainier Fog (2018), with DuVall harmonizing with him in the new songs and singing Staley's vocals in the old songs in live concerts.

Meeks has standing invitations to perform at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, as well as to front the Boston Pops. [2] Recently, he has begun referring to himself as a maestro due to his self-taught mastery of the acoustic guitar and incorporation of classical sounds into his music. [3]

Maestro title of extreme respect given to a master musician

Maestro is an honorific title of respect. The term is most commonly used in the context of Western classical music and opera, in line with the ubiquitous use of Italian musical terms.

In other media

In April 2005, Meeks was showcased in an episode of A&E's hit TV series Intervention , [4] which was filmed in February that year. Meeks' addiction to methamphetamine was one of the two subjects for this episode. He decided to go to rehab at Cirque Lodge in Provo, Utah, but the episode ends with Meeks checking out early after 73 days. After a period of relapsing, he remained sober since September 19, 2005 until a brief relapse in September 2007. According to a follow-up interview with Intervention, Meeks has since remained sober. [4]

<i>Intervention</i> (TV series) TV series

Intervention is an American documentary television series that premiered on March 6, 2005, on A&E. It follows one/two participant(s), who are dependent or are addicted, documented in anticipation of an intervention by family and/or friends. During the intervention, each participant is given an ultimatum: go into rehabilitation immediately, or risk losing contact, income, or other privileges from the loved ones who instigated the intervention. The producers usually follow up a while later to monitor the addicted person's progress and film it for "follow-up" episodes of the series or for shorter "web updates" available on the show's website.

Methamphetamine chemical

Methamphetamine is a potent central nervous system (CNS) stimulant that is mainly used as a recreational drug and less commonly as a second-line treatment for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and obesity. Methamphetamine was discovered in 1893 and exists as two enantiomers: levo-methamphetamine and dextro-methamphetamine. Methamphetamine properly refers to a specific chemical, the racemic free base, which is an equal mixture of levomethamphetamine and dextromethamphetamine in their pure amine forms. It is rarely prescribed over concerns involving human neurotoxicity and potential for recreational use as an aphrodisiac and euphoriant, among other concerns, as well as the availability of safer substitute drugs with comparable treatment efficacy. Dextromethamphetamine is a much stronger CNS stimulant than levomethamphetamine.

Drug rehabilitation is the process of medical or psychotherapeutic treatment for dependency on psychoactive substances such as alcohol, prescription drugs, and street drugs such as marijuana, cocaine, heroin or amphetamines. The general intent is to enable the patient to confront substance dependence, if present, and cease substance abuse to avoid the psychological, legal, financial, social, and physical consequences that can be caused, especially by extreme abuse.

In an online interview with Meeks, licensed clinical counselor and blogger Stephen Borgman described Meeks' Asperger syndrome and included many descriptions by Meeks himself. In this way, Meeks stated that he had "lived with intense shame and the feeling of extreme inadequacy. Everything I felt I did was wrong and that I could do nothing right. I wasn't diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome until 2005. […] Thanks to my father Gary Meeks, he knew I was different and tried to protect me from the vultures of punishment. I felt severely punished anyway by the way I felt when I was removed from my comfort zones such as putting me in school." [5]

Asperger syndrome neurodevelopmental condition

Asperger syndrome (AS), also known as Asperger's, is a developmental disorder characterized by significant difficulties in social interaction and nonverbal communication, along with restricted and repetitive patterns of behavior and interests. As a milder autism spectrum disorder (ASD), it differs from other ASDs by relatively normal language and intelligence. Although not required for diagnosis, physical clumsiness and unusual use of language are common. Signs usually begin before two years of age and typically last for a person's entire life.

On April 25, 2008, an interview with Meeks was featured on the podcast series, Uncensored Net Noise. [6]

Meeks also has two daughters from previous relationships. His first daughter was born ca.1994 from his relationship with his then girlfriend Amy. His second daughter, Emma Rambat, was born November 11, 2004 with his then girlfriend Karen. [7] [8] In 2014, Travis was arrested in Portland, Maine for failing to appear in court after being charged with possession of a hypodermic needle. [9] In 2017 he was also arrested for charges of burglary, fleeing or evading police on foot, public intoxication charges, and possession of a controlled substance. [10] [11] [12]

Musical style

Meeks plays Taylor guitars for their rich sound but has also used Tacomas. Much of his catalog is performed in various open tunings. He also favors acoustic guitar over electric, once citing:

"Acoustic guitars are more musical. They're not all covered up by different sounds and distortions and stuff. Of course we put distortion on our guitars, but I like to go make campfires and sit out by the water, and you can't do that with an electric guitar. Each acoustic guitar has its own soul; it seems way more natural to play than electric." [13]

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  1. 'You're talking to a miracle - Travis Meeks heals one piece at a time'
  2. Meeks has also declared himself to be a reincarnation of 18th century Austrian composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, going so far as to wear powdered wigs while performing. "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-05-29. Retrieved 2008-05-15.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link) 'Travis Meeks's Biography'
  3. 1 2 "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2006-05-23. Retrieved 2006-06-04.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  4. Borgman, Stephen. "Famous People With Aspergers: Travis Meeks". Thrive With Aspergers. Stephen Borgman. Retrieved 2016-06-27.
  12. Parker, Lyndsey Exclusive LAUNCH Artist Chat - Days of the New Yahoo! Music (November 8, 2008). Retrieved on August 28, 2008.