DAYS OF THE NEW: THE OFFICIAL BIO BY TRAVIS “MAESTRO” MEEKS
I am Travis Meeks. I am an artist. I am a Maestro of my craft. I am a human being. I am a lot ofthings. I am a recovering addict. I have Asperger´s Syndrome. I am a good person. I do get angryand aggravated, I am human, but I work on things everyday. I live a life of both light and dark and finding the balance between those two… and that reflects in my music and art. – Travis Meeks
IN THE BEGINNING THE GENESIS
I, Travis Meeks, was born into music; my father [Gary Meeks] is a singer, songwriter, and performer.My grandfather on my mother’s side Marvin Carlton was both a conductor and a composer. My grandmother- Betty Carlton was a lounge singer who did many gigs in and around the New Jersey and New York areas. One of my uncles on my mother’s side is a professional singer, who also sings and does gigs. I am a full-blooded musician.From the age of 3 to 10, I was the biggest fan of music, I sang along with my favorite artists, and even recorded myself until the age of 11, when I first picked up the electric guitar and began writing and playing music myself. It became the focus of my life… over any other subject imaginable. I also started writing and recording at the age of 11, then I developed my electric guitar skills to the point ofexhaustion, Exhaustion because I felt the hatred so deep within myself I needed miracles to revealthemselves. until one day after a series of acid trips, one in particular, I magically became one with theacoustic guitar. I then began an intimate relationship with the instrument and its tones. Tuning myAcoustic guitar to whatever suited my ears and soul.
ASPERGERS SYNDROME - MILD AUTISMTHE FURY AND ELUSIVE BEHAVIOR OF TRAVIS MEEKS
Again, as I have mentioned before, I have Asperger’s Syndrome, which I could describe in so manyways as a social disorder and mild autism. Other character traits include necessary routines and extremes, which could be misconstrued as OCD. Other traits are sensitivity to smell, sounds and light,textures in clothing or material, and a strong fear of change and environment; lack of compassion or theinability to converse intimately, and rare character traits - such as associating sound and color. Severeoutbursts and rage from pulling me away from my comfort zone or trying to make me fit in themarching band caused lots of rage and pain throughout my life.. I stayed isolated Most of my life from15-26. I built alters and spiritual environments that kept me focused and to help keep the noise down in my mind. I was very musically inspired from creating in my environments and that’s where a lotof my inspiration comes from still today.
However, I wasn’t diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome until 2005. In the past from 1987 until 2005 Ihave been misdiagnosed with ADD, bi-polar, manic-depressive, post dramatic syndrome, Paranoia disorder, etc. These misdiagnoses and lack of genuine attention and compassion caused me a lot ofpain and suffering, including multiple medications and unnecessary behavioral convictions. I FeltFramed and misplaced… I was treated as a criminal in a one way thinking society. Thanks to my fatherGary Meeks, he knew I was different and tried to protect me from the vultures of punishment. I feltseverely punished anyway by the way I felt when I was removed from my comfort zones such as putting me in school. But, these experiences that I have had and witnessed I would not trade for the world as I see it today, They are part of what has made me who I am.I lived with intense shame and the feeling of extreme inadequacy. Everything I felt I did waswrong and that I could do nothing right. At the young age of eight, I threw chairs at teachers,rebelled against my school and ended up being put in special schooling. I´ve been in seven treatmentcenters, beginning at age 11, on and off throughout my life, until 2005. I had a child at the age of 14,whom I was torn apart from because of a lack of my legal rights, and Vengeance from my ex-Girlfriend who I had left because of destructive behavior. My father Gary Meeks did what he had to do in thebest interest of his son by keeping me away from the one person who was driving me crazy-- themother of my child. I grew up in a small town [Charlestown, Indiana] where the only thing waiting forme was Death, or prison. I actually moved to Louisville, KY from Charlestown in the blink of an eyebecause the law was after me and I was facing juvenile detention. I was raised in the system to stay outof the system. My father Gary Meeks kept me in the field of psychology rather than in jail -it was hisway of protecting his son. But I had my fair share of handcuffs, straight-jackets and thorazine shufflesas a juvenile. I was on my way to a mental institution for good -- or prison -- and music was theone thing that saved my life. Getting clean and sober was also going to free me of my victimization… the feeling that I could not escape. When I moved to Louisville I slowed down my drug and alcohol use. I didn’t begin using drugs frequently until 2001, although I had drunken escapades from time to time.
HOW THE NAME ‘DAYS OF THE NEW’ BECAME
I moved to Louisville, Kentucky in 1995 and, at the time, I experienced what society would calldelusions or paranoia and I believed that there would be a New World Order… I believed in thingshappening after the year 2000 that were going to change the world, and I believed that I was a part ofthat and I felt that I was connected with something bigger than I.That´s where the name Days of the New came from - it started out as Days of the New World Order. Icalled up one of the members from an old heavy metal band I was in called Dead Reckoning, whoended up being in the band Days of the New (Jessie Vest). I told him about the name I wanted to callthe project that I had been working so hard on. I said, “Hey man, I figured out the name of thisacoustic project,” He said, “What´s that?” “Days of the New,” I said. He responded, “Man that´sfucking gay.” He really hurt my feelings at the time, because I wanted people to believe in me and Iconsidered him to be a best friend. But I just said, “That’s alright, that’s fine.” I went about stayingtrue to the art form of the album and believing in my acoustic art of the (Orange) album and thetree.
MAKING THE [silent title] (ORANGE) ALBUM
I started writing on the silent title (Orange) album in Louisville, KY. That’s where I went into a stateof isolation, and at that time my severe social disorder really started taking place. My Asperger´sSyndrome has caused me many hard trials and tribulations throughout my life, but I continue find other ways of healing as I began to build altars in my bedroom, and that has been part of my routineand autism. I wrote a song about it, called “Shelf in the Room.”When I was very young, and what society called delusional, I had an early vision -- or a hallucination -- with a tree… One day when I walked into a room, a painting of a tree and the colorof the sky jumped out and grabbed my soul. The painting spoke to me. I became instantly at one withthis image, I felt as if I was inside of this painting… I felt a sense of Peace… Zen and Heaven. I had adeep conversation and developed a strong relationship with the painting of this tree. Ever since then,I´ve been one with trees and their symbolism. It has become everything to me and I have becomeinfatuated with trees.I started to get very spiritual at the age of 15 during the process of the (Orange) album. I also discovered a musical act called Dead Can Dance that helped inspire me to do what I do today. I am a fan of music as well, and I feel I owe them my gratitude… There are not many words that can describemy appreciation, love and inspiration for them, and what they have done for my soul and growth.I was infatuated with [Heavy] Metal, at a young age, but I became exhausted from my anger, and my anger was outdoing me... I slowly went from heavy metal to art music and world classical music. Iam still a metal fan today, but I prefer Art Music to any trend or genre.In 1996, I recorded the (Orange) album, verbatim as we hear it today, on a four track. I did it by usinga Tascam recorder, and two acoustic guitars, panned left and right. I would overdub bass parts and very seldom would I use any drum machines. I also did the harmonies and all the acoustic guitarparts, including other various sounds. My goal was to capture the magic, energy and soul that I putinto those four track recordings and I feel that I succeeded….But I struggled to find people to support my art and vision, other than producer Scott Litt, who made it a priority to help me capture the magic of what I recorded on that four track. I broughtpeople along for the ride and did what I could to follow this vision.I got signed after a local showcase called “The Harvest Showcase” where I was offered to play acoustically, but I was afraid to do it alone so I asked a few of my older band mates; musicians JesseVest and Matt Taul, from the metal band I was in at the time (in which I also conducted and wrote allsongs) called Dead Reckoning, to perform with me. We played a couple of metal songs, and I played acouple of acoustic songs.
The label scouts in attendance were ecstatic about my acoustic work and had no interest in the lifeless metal.Through time, negotiations, and many phone conversations, we were finally able to start the Days ofthe New project, as I began working with Rick Smith of Wild Justice, who than later finalized arecording contract with President Scott Litt of Outpost Recordings and finalized a publishing dealwith Warner-Chappell. Bill Klatt was the engineer of the first (Orange) demos and the actualrecording process of (Orange). Famed Record Producer SCOTT LITT was a strong force in themagic of (Orange) and seeing through the vision of the acoustic guitar, the original four trackrecordings, and the charisma of Travis Meeks and his acoustical art.
THE UNPRECENDENTED SUCCESS OF THE (ORANGE) ALBUM
In 1997, Days of the New broke with the single “Touch Peel and Stand”, then “Shelf in the Room”followed by “Downtown.” All three singles reached #1 on charts for up to 18 weeks and Days of theNew performed on David Lettermen. The first tour was with Kenny Wayne Shepherd, and thensome other bands like Sugartooth and Creed opened for Days of the new for a tour. I did a few showswith Aerosmith in Boston. I did two videos; “Touch, Peel and Stand reached #1 Most-Played Video on MTV and we also released the highly successful “Days of the New: Live VHS Video.”In 1998, I toured with Metallica. It was difficult touring with that genre of music, being in an acousticact. I went from being in a metal band that was full of rage, to evolving and dealing with my emotions;slowly healing from the trauma I was going through, and relating- connecting- with the naturalsound of acoustic instruments. However, I worked very hard to keep it together. My father GaryMeeks was even involved and he worked equally as hard to keep it together to a degree, but I wasenabled and everybody kissed my ass- including my father, manager, label, [and] band, becausethey were afraid I was going to lose my temper and remind them again of how this was not going in the direction I was driving it in. I felt everyone was working against me. I did cause a lot ofstress in my camp, but they cost me my career through a lack of support.We were becoming successful fast, but the love, passion, art and soul of Days of the New werebecoming less of a priority as the success started building. I was playing my music and beinginfluenced and manipulated to project an image that was not me, a full band that had no musicalconnection with my art and soul… and my soul fuel gauge was running out. I played every showwith rage, anger and hatred, and it was killing me. That anger became a part of the show. Peoplecheered me on not realizing I was really Angry and full of hatred. One night I broke my acousticguitar on stage and people were entertained… so I began smashing acoustic guitars every night –but not for entertainment- but out of pure rage . It was my way of saying ‘this is not right’ and Icouldn’t lie or pretend. I felt too strongly and loved my art so much.So in the process of promoting (Orange) people were making me feel very uncomfortable to the pointwhere I couldn’t be my own character. People would tell me who I was, rather than let me be who Iam and that was hard for me, being 16 and 17 years old. To me, it felt like both prison and hell…I am grateful for my experiences and success of Days of the New (Orange)
THE ILLUSION OF A PUBLIC BREAKUP
More and more I began to isolate. I had my own bus, and what was called the band had their own bus.I had to have my own space, and to this day, I still have to have my own space, as it is important to my sanity. After the Metallica tour, I tried to hold together a band that did not have any connection ordrive other than me, and I was unstoppable with the magic, music, colors and the art that wereswimming around in my mind and dancing in my head, and all I was thinking about is what Icould do next. I had to train my musicians how to play their instruments in a different away inorder to compliment my acoustic sound.One of those musicians had a natural talent that I admire still to this day -- he didn´t have good meter --but he had and still has a natural talent, and an amazing approach to the drum kit. I’m talking aboutMatt Taul. He only played three or four tracks on the (Orange) album, but people consider himan original member of Days of the New, which is actually incorrect but he did tour the firstalbum (Orange). Matt Taul’s highlight in the Days of the New legacy was the drum track on “Touch Peel and Stand.” Adam Tergeon actually played “Shelf in the Room”, “Downtown”,“Solitude”, “What’s Left For Me”, “Face of the Earth”, “How Do You Know You”, “Where IStand”… while Matt Taul only played on “Whimsical”, “Freak”, “Now” and “Touch Peel andStand.” The song “Cling” was from the original four track recordings that I produced, mixedand recorded in my basement while writing (Orange).
In 1998, what was projected as the image of the Days of the New band departed because of ego,lack of interest and perseverance, and miscommunication over the goals everyone wanted out ofthe experience. [Todd, Jesse and Matt] were unwilling to grow as professional musicians andsupport me in my vision—they had poor conduct for rehearsals, and a lack of inspiration and understanding regarding the acoustic sound and realm of music. They were afraid to take risks, and Iwas already taking risks by writing the (Orange) and (Green) albums of Days of the New.I tried to bring Matt Taul along for the ride on the (Green) album, which he did play two tracks on,“Flight Response” and “I Think”, but his lack of ability to approach percussion to compliment theacoustic guitar, and his personal issues, lead us our separate ways.The band members were also upset because I got paid for what I worked hard for. Travis Meekssigned the record deal with Outpost/ Geffen- and Matt Taul , Jesse Vest and Todd Whitnersigned a contract as hired hands for Travis Meeks. They got paid as hired as hands, because they were contracted as hired hands, and through the quick success of Days of the New, and the lack ofattention I was getting, photographs focused on a boy band and the formulated industry approach. Daysof the New was misconstrued as a unit, rather than (as an example) a Trent Reznor-like project[Nine Inch Nails] with a band supporting their leader, songwriter and source of soul. I honestlybelieve that they just never got it, never understood the artistic approach to Days of the New. Ihad a vision, the name of a project, music and color in my head that I was trying to reach to theworld – to get it out of my chest and release my soul.I also believe that they never took the time to get to know me in a different way. It wasn’t until later,when they worked with Hugo Ferreira (singer of Tantric) and experienced his lack of integrity, hismingling personality and passion for cliques, being a rock-star, and just being a poser… Afterworking with Hugo Ferreira and experiencing his lack of soul, they gained more respect for me as aleader, songwriter and visionary. Today we have a much better relationship.
THE ACTUAL BREAK-UP: (THE DAY THE DECISION WAS MADE)
In 1998, Travis Meeks, Todd Whitener, Jesse Vest, Matt Taul and Gary Meeks planed a meeting at Distillery Sound Studios to discuss future plans; to see if we could still play together live, or forfuture recordings. Everybody made an agreement and conscious decision to go our separateways. We no longer had any interest in working together and we all felt we needed to part ways.I did not fire my band. Let me repeat, I did not fire my band - the band that later becomeTantric.Honestly, the first band offered very little creatively. It definitely took the cracking of the whip to pull them along in order to make Days of the New as successful as it was. The success of the firstalbum brought Matt Taul, Jessie Vest, and Todd Whitener an idea of self and image that deludedthem into believing they were more important to the project then they really were. I tried for 3years to get over the constant stress… and cringed as Todd Whitener mangled his solos live. I gavethem shit every night for there performances. They took a lot of Mouth from me as I wanted it to be right.We tried to reform years later, but it didn’t work, as I was light years head of them… and to me, it feltlike they were still 17 years old and had never grown up. I had different priorities, music and art wasmy every thought, almost.They were what I would call rock stars; and forgive me for my modesty, but I am what I would callartist, maestro, and an expressionist. I love them dearly and talk to them on a regular basis, and Ihope the best for all future projects they engage in.HUMAN TREE: JERAL TIDWELLOn a side note, in the early tours, I met an amazing illustrator and artist who took the ride with me.We shared the love of the tree and the visual art. His name is Jeral Tidwell, and he became astrong visual artist for Days of the New. He did all the t-shirts, the second and third albumcover, and the all the Myspace tree images. He helped create the art and the colors of trees… Hiscompany is humantree.com, and I still work with him today. He has become very successful in hiscareer and works with many professional bands, artists and companies.
THE (GREEN) PERIOD
From 1998-1999, after what people thought Days of the New were parted ways, I worked on the(Green) album; an album I was ecstatic about and felt was my masterpiece… I was 19 years old andknew I had more energy as I was engaging in my vision full force and fiercely in the studio- but Iwas scared to tour. I put together a seven-piece act to tour the (Green) album; one of the memberswho joined the 7 piece lineup was Nicole Scherzinger, now lead singer of the Pussycat Dolls.There was a gentleman by the name of Brian Vinson who played bass, Doug Florio played guitar,Kimmet Cantwell who did vocals, played keys and did samples for the orchestrations, Craig Wagnerwho played guitar, and Ray Rizzo played drums and percussion. That tour lasted for two months. Notlong after the tour I developed a kidney stone and became highly addicted to pain medication. I had thekidney stone for a month and a half and, slowly but surely, throughout the next few years I becameaddicted to pain pills.The (Green) album featured the hit single [#2 on Billboard Charts], “Enemy”; which was the onlyvideo we shot for that album. In addition, the album featured “Weapon and the Wound” a song thatreached #11 on the charts.The only original member of Days of the New, if I could say that, would be Ray Rizzo who stuckwith me from 1999- 2008. He is currently based out of New York. Ray Rizzo works with live plays,burlesque shows, script writing and he is also an accomplished journalist, actor and writer. Ray Rizzo is an amazing drummer, percussionist, artist, expressionist, performer and he is verytheatrical… he is what I would call a true artist. We have a strong musical and spiritualconnection.I had -- and still continue to have -- identity issues that are part of Asperger’s syndrome. I am working through these issues by expressing myself with different voices, body language, hand movementsand animation, but I had a hard time touring that act. I worked with a gentleman by the name of ToddSmith who helped me in numerous ways on the (Green) album, including engineering the record.I preformed most of the instruments and did pretty much what I did with the (Orange) album.This time [I] didn´t try to keep the vein of it having to be a “band” kind of thing. I just flowed and let itbe pure, and actually wrote, produced, finished, and brought the songs to life fluidly while I was in thestudio with the musicians on the (Green) albumTHE LABEL MERGERAfter the (Green) album, I continued to get sick of dealing with the labels. It was hard for mybusiness team to communicate and everyone wanted to call different shots. Everybody was trying to take the project in different directions. My managers, Rick Smith, Victor Somogyi, Gary Meeksand my accountant Dan Eagan all had different visions for Days of the New. The label heads;Scott Litt, Andy Gershon and Mark Williams also had different, contradicting, visions for my project that led the project in a direction noone could define or control, and that lead to Chaos.A label merger took place during and after the (Green) album, and then I started working on the(Red) album. Outpost Recordings was my label and was a subsidiary of Geffen Records. GeffenRecords was bought out by Jimmy Iovine’s Interscope. Interscope was owned by Universal.Universal is Distribution, and the Distribution was bought out by The Seagram Co.
The entire record industry merged and I was left without anyone to follow through on my visionof (Orange), (Green), and (Red)… the continuum of my color concept. I was on my own, but thatwas never a mystery, and later became a realization as I was slowing gaining awareness.Slowly but surely throughout the years, all the people who I started out with were dissipating and disappearing, including my labels. One of the people I mentioned, Mark Williams, became a strongforce within Interscope and he carried strong resentments and judgments that led into the (Red) albumexperience.THE (RED) EXPERIENCEBill Klatt (engineer for (Orange)) and Ray Rizzo- Drummer, joined forces to make the original(Red) album, and succeeded to finish it. During this merger, I finished the (Red) album and turnedit in, but I was told to re-do it, and they hired a producer by the name of Ron Anielo, theproducer and songwriter for Lifehouse, to take over the (Red) album. To me, that was like having a child and the doctor saying, “No, this child can´t come out of your womb, were gonna shove it rightback up in ya.” Today, I understand that I felt victimized by my emotions at the time, but I have much more clarity than I used to.Not that I am devaluating how I felt, but I won’t let anyone shove a baby in me again. That was thepain that I received. After that, I became sick, and was quickly introduced to what I thought was asolution to my pain - cocaine… then crack.I was passed around by Jimmy Iovine, Mark Williams, Paul Kremen, Jordan Shur, Fred Durst,and then Tom Whalley. Tom Whalley became passionate about (Red) and tried see it through,however; he took another job and became the President of Warner Brothers Records.In 2001, I tried to tour the (Red) album and I had a few drunken events that were misunderstood bysome people. One time, I jumped off the stage because someone was yelling “Tantric!” Around theyear 2000 or 2001, Tantric was released and they based their success off of being the OFFICIALband of Days of the New. Not to say that I´m not proud of them, I´m very proud of what Jessie Vest,Matt Taul and Todd Whitener, the hired hands of Days of the New accomplished. I am gratefulthey got to express what they felt was beautiful. Matt Taul , Jesse Vest and Todd Whitner weregiven a gift to be involved in something amazing, but unfortunately there are kids and peoplewho look at the photos that were released and don´t know the real story. Kiss is Kiss; you can´thave one without the other, but with Days of the New, that’s just not the case. I created (Orange),just as I created (Green), just as I created (Red). They are my albums- my art and my music.The band who toured the (Red) album was Chuck Mingus – Guitar/ Mike Huettig – Bass andRay Rizzo- Drums.Tantric had no authorship or influence in the first (Orange) album of Days of the New, other thanMatt Taul with his drum track on “Touch Peel and Stand,” and Todd Whitener’s three solo parts. Iwill complement them on that, but they deserve no notoriety, or credit for anything that has to do withDays of the New, other than the fact they took the ride and dealt with my drive and passion, ratherthan supported it.My resentment towards Tantric comes from them basing their success on being in the band, andme just being a singer… They made it seem like they were the original Days of the New. Theirfocus was more on status (Rock Stars with a Brand Name), rather than art.
I went into hiding for six years after the (Red) album. I tried to tour, I tried to get out, I tried to do the whole thing, but I was tired of the illusion that my labels and the people who weren´t there for mewere trying to portray. They tried to rush or direct me into something that I didn´t want to do, andthere was no one to see through the life of the (Red) Album, and I had no energy left to lie to theworld. I didn’t feel good anymore so I medicated.There are bands that did that, like Creed. At one point, Creed was opening up for Days of the New,next thing you know, I´m opening up for Creed in front of 30 thousand people. Creed is done.They have zero artistic integrity. Creed does have a lot of things, but the one thing they don´t have, islongevity and timelessness in the field of art. They have a lot of money; people know who they are.They have plenty of notoriety, but they don´t have any artistic integrity. I do know Scott Stapppersonally, and I love him as a person. I appreciate him taking the ride that he took, because I know ithad to be hard.There are different ways to approach the music industry and I’m not against anyone expressing themselves as they want to. I’m just here to emphasize how I express myself and art… In 2002, I graduated from crack and cocaine, to methamphetamine and that was my solution to dealing with the pain that became deeper, and I still hold every hallucination and delusion that Ihave seen deep inside my heart. I believe there is truth in them.TRAVIS MEEKS: THE INTERVENTIONThat’s what I have held onto… and it is very painful. Through six years of drug addiction starting at2001, and 12 years of lies, and dealing with the industry, I held on to my artistic integrity. Istruggled with sexuality. I spent six years alone as a transvestite hiding in my studio and house. My mind and emotions where spun way out of control. I had a studio called Distillery Sound Studios in Distillery Commons in Louisville, Kentucky; I was in this studio for around six or seven years,where I made (Green) and (Red) until my lack of work and touring caused me to run out of money.My bills for Distillery Sound Studios alone were 10K a month, not including the staff I had contracted, my house payment, tour bus and other bills. Throughout that time, I continued to havedelusions and hallucinations, and I continued to find a way out of the bondage with crystalmeth… I struggled with letting go of the narcissism in myself, having Asperger’s syndrome andmixing Meth created a Zen that was comfortable for me to be in… I didn’t think I would get outalive… This is why I agreed to do a documentary about my drug addiction- because I thought Iwas going to die. I was going to tell the world goodbye.In 2005, I appeared on A&E´s “Intervention,” which I was told was a documentary. I wassomewhat tricked, but my delusions of heaven and hell were actually manifesting themselves in abeautiful way.The invention show was one of their first episodes. I went to treatment in Utah for two months. I lefttreatment, and got high for four months. That high was the best high I ever had, because it wore me outso much, and brought me to my knees, and mentally revealed revelations so deep that I- by the grace ofsome force greater than me working together- decided to get clean. That’s when I got into recovery,September 18, 2005. I always sought God and balance, it was a miracle for me to open my eyes and witness this growth and evolution happening in my life. This was not strange for me. This was real….This was right. I then surrounded myself with people who supported me and who were alwayssupporting me... I still use that support group today, and it grows... as I let go of the disease of shame.
THE OTHERS SIDE PROJECTS
I worked with The Doors in 2001, and attended “Story Tellers of VH1” with The Doors and preformed “The End.” I also recorded two songs with The Doors in the studio “The End” and“L.A.Woman.” You can find these on Stoned Immaculate: The Music of the Doors.In 2003 I auditioned for Velvet Revolver. I´ve recorded a couple of tracks with them that I still have,and maybe if I can find a way to legally release them I will one day – or maybe I’ll release them as a bootleg. (Just kidding).I also auditioned the bass player Mike Starr; former Bassist for Alice in Chains. I worked with him a little bit, and we have become great friends.SOUNDTRACKSI have a song on the Heavy Metal 2000 soundtrack called “Rough Day.” I have a song on VarsityBlues soundtrack called “Two Faces.” On the Half Baked soundtrack I have a song called “SeasonsChange.” I also have a song on the Crow Salvation soundtrack titled “Independent Slaves.” I alsohave a track on the Godzilla soundtrack called “Running Knees” and the last soundtrack that I´vedone was Black Hawk Down and you´ll find this on the silent title Red, “Die Born.”THE DEFINITIVE COLLECTIONIn 2008, a new album was released in March. The Definitive Collection was released March 4th. Iwas disappointed in the artwork -- and though I was very impressed with the songs that werechosen, I was not informed that this album was being released. I was actually informed by a fanon Myspace. The label, company, or person dealing with the Definitive Collection’s excuse was“they thought there were no contacts, and there were no Days of the New; that Travis Meeks wasstill getting high and out of the industry.” Again there was a lack of communication, interest,and passion for the artist who has sold them millions of records. Jimmy Iovine once told me thatI was one of the most talented artists ever… Once again; however, I was left out of my own work.They did not know that I had been in recovery for two and half years. This is how most record labels, other than the independents, are working today. Record labels are trying to work just as bandsare, [but] they don´t know much more than we do.The Definitive Collection is a great compilation of (Orange), (Green) and (Red); it’s not a Best Ofor Greatest Hits, [it’s] just more art and music to add to your Days of the New collection.
Since I have gotten clean, I have started to get comfortable with being a front man and aperformer. From the age of 15 to the age of 26, I was not comfortable performing live on stage. I amnow comfortable performing on stage. I have taken control of my art and I pursue it daily, it is my life,it is my love, it is my recovery and it helps me survive spiritually.I am more animated on stage as I have learned to embrace the art of humility, and I have come to terms with an awakening of my understanding to carry the cross… my art is my cross. I will rollwith the punches of what I truly feel inside. I am not afraid.Part of what I do is to liberate myself through being honest about my struggles. I have problems with women due to narcissism and social disorder, which is part of Asperger’s Syndrome. I need noempathy, Asperger´s Syndrome is just a way to describe what´s going on with me or identify, not anexcuse or reason to devaluate, or separate my humanity from yours.I practice compassion, I practice hugs, and I do the best I can. I live in my own world and I tried tomanifest daily of what´s inside of my soul and I continue make progress, and within the two years Ihave been touring again, I have succeeded and met many achievements.
DAYS OF THE NEW PRESENTS: TREE COLORS
I am now based out of Utah. I do travel around as a gypsy a lot. I love touring -- as a matter of fact, in2006, after getting clean, I started touring again. The first tour I did was solo. Then I formed a trio act, and then I took the step to form the full project, Tree Colors, which are now Days of theNew Presents Tree Colors. Days of the New is a production company that, to me, represents TreeColors - the truth, and what kept the art of Days of the New alive - the Tree and the Colors. Thename does not change, it only gets longer: Days of the New presents Tree Colors. It’s not TreeColors and it’s not Days of the New, it’s Days of the New presents Tree Colors; a continuum ofcolor, and the symbolism of the tree. I can still be marketed as Days of the New, but be sure youwill be hearing about the Tree and Colors. As time goes on, I hope people grasp my vision too, as Irelease this project and reveal these colors of art and music.Currently, I am working on a record I plan to release in late fall. That record will be a silent title,by color (Purple). I am re-announcing myself, not only as Travis Meeks, but as Maestro Meeks, so you can call me Travis Meeks, Travis Maestro Meeks, or Maestro. I am a folk world classicalcomposer, who uses the acoustic guitar as a focus and medium for my work; much likecomposers who write and compose on a piano. I call myself a Maestro; a Maestro meaning “master of what I do,” a master of my craft. I have come to terms with that persona and I havebecome one with my craft, meaning I master my craft.