|From||United States of America|
|Birth||27 April 1979, Charlestown, USA|
Travis Shane Meeks (born April 27, 1979) is an American musician and 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. As of 2018 it has been reported that Meeks still writes songs and struggles with substance abuse.
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. His father was a musician. 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.” Meeks’ father, Gary Lee Meeks, passed away November 15, 2013 at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Indianapolis, IN at the age of 57.
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.
Since the Release of Days of the New (2001 album) Meeks has continued writing music and uploading it on websites such as MySpace with continued usage of the Days Of The New name. Notable fan favourite demos are to name a few; Story of a Friend, Where It Ends and Superhero (Latter two from the delayed Purple Album) Among many more.
Meeks has standing invitations to perform at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, as well as to front the Boston Pops. He has referred to himself as a maestro due to his self-taught mastery of the acoustic guitar and incorporation of classical sounds into his music.
In other media
In April 2005, Meeks was showcased in an episode of A&E’s hit TV series Intervention, 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.
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.”
On April 25, 2008, an interview with Meeks was featured on the podcast series, Uncensored Net Noise.
Meeks has two daughters from previous relationships. His first daughter, Suvanna Dawn Meeks, (who was later put up for adoption) was born in 1994 from his relationship with his then girlfriend Amy. His second daughter, Emma Rambat, was born November 11, 2004 with his then girlfriend Karen.
In 2014, Travis was arrested in Portland, Maine for failing to appear in court after being charged with possession of a hypodermic needle.
In 2017 he was arrested for charges of burglary, fleeing or evading police on foot, public intoxication charges, and possession of a controlled substance. In 2020 he was arrested for disorderly conduct, failure to obey a police officer, and resisting arrest.
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.”