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Days of the New

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Days of the New
The original line-up of Days of the New. (L–R): Jesse Vest, Todd Whitener, Matt Taul and Travis Meeks
The original line-up of Days of the New.
(L–R): Jesse Vest, Todd Whitener, Matt Taul and Travis Meeks
Background information
OriginCharlestown, Indiana, U.S.
Years active1995–2014
Past members

Days of the New was an American rock band from Charlestown, Indiana, formed in 1995.[5] The band later relocated to Louisville, Kentucky.[3] They consisted of vocalist/guitarist Travis Meeks and a variety of supporting musicians. They are best known for the hit singles "Touch, Peel and Stand", "The Down Town", "Shelf in the Room", and "Enemy", as well as radio hits "Weapon and the Wound", "Hang On To This" and "Die Born". "Touch, Peel and Stand" was named, ″Greatest of All-Time Mainstream Rock Song″ by Billboard Magazine.[6]

The band was formed by Meeks as an acoustic solo project during his teenage years. Their debut album, self-titled but informally known as the Yellow or Orange album, was released in 1997 and featured Meeks, along with Jesse Vest, Todd Whitener and Matt Taul. Vest, Whitener and Taul went on to form Tantric. The group briefly included future pop star and The Pussycat Dolls frontwoman Nicole Scherzinger on their 1999 second album, also self-titled and informally known as the Green album. Other band members would include drummer Ray Rizzo, bassist Mike Starr (Alice in Chains) and bassist Charlie Colin (Train). Days of the New's third and final self-titled album, informally known as the Red album, was released in 2001.


Early years[edit]

Days of the New began as an experimental rock/groove metal trio called Dead Reckoning, with Meeks, Larry Montgomery, Matt Taul, and Jesse Vest. When they turned to an acoustic sound, they changed the name of the band and added guitarist Todd Whitener.

A demo version of the song "Freak" appeared on the Harvest Showcase Volume 3, a compilation of Louisville area artists. This recording features a solo performance by Meeks credited to Days of the New. Jesse Vest and Mat Taul are listed as band members in the liner notes although they do not appear on this recording.

Producer Scott Litt, known for working with R.E.M and Nirvana, signed the band to his label Outpost Recordings, a joint venture with Geffen Records.[7]


The band recorded their debut album at Allen Martin Productions in Louisville, KY in October and November 1996. The first Days of the New release, an eponymous album frequently called "Orange" or "Yellow" after the color of the disc and liner notes, was released in 1997, selling 1.5 million copies worldwide. Three songs from this album were hits: "Touch, Peel and Stand," "The Down Town," and "Shelf in the Room." The first was No. 1 on Billboard's Rock Chart for 17 weeks; "The Down Town" and "Shelf in the Room" were each top 40 hits.

They contributed the song "Running Knees" to Godzilla: The Album.

Internal problems of the band were evident early on. Shortly after releasing their debut album, Days of the New began touring smaller venues. MTV reported that, after missing a Florida concert in April, the band members appeared physically black-eyed and beaten the following day after what sources claimed to be a band brawl. They then toured with Metallica and Jerry Cantrell starting in West Palm Beach, Florida on June 24, 1998. Meeks later criticized this billing, arguing due to their acoustic sound, Days of the New should have toured with a group like Dave Matthews Band.

Just before starting this summer tour, however, Meeks had already told interviewers that all of his fellow band members were holding him back and, consequently, were being released from the group. He also said that they were disappointed by this decision but that he thought they would remain friends. An Outpost spokesperson, however, claimed that "Travis just talks" and that nothing was official. Before they could fulfill club touring duties with Finger Eleven and Flight 16 in December, without citing reason, Meeks canceled in early November. Various explanations were given by band members and a label spokesperson including poor tour scheduling, band fighting, and even Meeks being physically ill.[8] It was finally confirmed in February 1999 that the band indeed split up. Todd Whitener, Mat Taul, and Jesse Vest would go on to form C14, soon renamed Tantric, while Meeks formed a new band under the Days of the New name.

There are two contradictory explanations of the original Days of the New breakup. Comments by Meeks in 1998 lead to reports that he fired the rest of the band. Meeks has called this telling false and claims the other band members were jealous that he was paid more than they were. When Meeks first announced the news, he said "It's like a journey in the wilderness - you know with like the struggle and stuff. I made it through, I survived, but the other guys didn't." He also posted comments online: "It wasn't truly a band format. It is my fault for leading you on and setting you up to get attached to the prior members."[9] Later, in 2002, Meeks called in to The Howard Stern Show and was asked by Stern why he didn't stick with the original members. He replied, "They had no spirituality. They had no brains." When Stern pointed out, "They had hits!" he gave the vague response, "That's not what I'm into. I'm into the truth."[10]


Shortly after the original band's breakup, Meeks recorded a second album, Days of the New. The album was released on August 31, 1999. Meeks debuted his new band on September 4, 1999, at the ear X-tacy store in Louisville. Critics were fairly enthusiastic about the album but it sold poorly compared to the previous effort.

In February 2000, Meeks returned to the studio with a new band and recorded their third album as Days of the New by July. Like the first two records, the album is self-titled. The first single, "Hang on to This" peaked at No. 18 on the US Rock Chart[11] and was the most added song on rock radio the week of its debut. The album, released two weeks after the September 11, 2001 attacks with very little promotion, sold 90,000 copies. Days of the New toured with Creed and 3 Doors Down. Meanwhile, Meeks's original bandmates formed the band Tantric, whose debut self-titled debut went platinum.[12]


After touring for "Red," the band parted ways with Interscope and had a period of inactivity. In December 2002, Meeks was involved in a high-profile audition for Velvet Revolver with several former members of Guns N' Roses.[13] In the later half of 2003, Meeks embarked on a solo tour, performing at small venues. In January 2004, Days of the New split with Interscope Records over creative differences.[14] His addiction to methamphetamine continued and in early 2005, he appeared on A&E's Intervention, where family and friends convinced him to enter rehab.[15]

In September 2005, Meeks announced he had achieved sobriety and was writing for a fourth Days of the New record.

On March 4, 2008, Geffen released Days of the New: The Definitive Collection, the first compilation of the band. Meeks stated that the upcoming record will be called Days of the New Presents Tree Colors.[16]

In 2010, Mike Starr of Alice in Chains began playing with Meeks, preparing for a tour that would also feature Charlie Colin of Train.[17] However, Starr died on March 8, 2011, before touring had begun.[18]

In 2014, the original lineup of Days of the New announced they had reunited and were planning a summer tour called "Full Circle." On May 30, 2014, Days of the New announced plans to release an EP with new material that fall.

Following a cancelled date in Columbia, Missouri, the band abruptly ended their set in St. Louis on September 6 due to Meeks being too drunk to perform. Bassist Jesse Vest took the microphone to inform the crowd that it was the band's last show together. In the next several days, the band released several statements on Facebook claiming they'd reunited with Meeks because, after he'd unsuccessfully tried to recruit other musicians, he'd begged them to return.[19]

On September 26, 2014, the band announced on Facebook that they again would be going their separate ways with Meeks retaining the Days of the New name. Meeks put a new lineup together and continued touring but was arrested in Portland, Maine on October 10, 2014, on a warrant for failure to appear in court to answer charges of possessing a hypodermic needle.[20]

In April 2017, Meeks had been released from jail and was posting on social media.[21]

In August 2018, after a four-year hiatus, Meeks played a solo show at the Red Bicycle Hall in Madison, Indiana.

On March 3, 2021, an unofficial bootleg compilation of some of Days of the New's rarer tracks, entitled 'The Gift', was released illegally without the consent of the band or previous record label. 911 Entertainment Records have since confirmed this was wrong and pulled the release from all streaming platforms, effective immediately.[citation needed] 911 Entertainment Records issued an apology and pulled the bootleg album from streaming services. However, shortly after on July 26, 2021, 911 Entertainment Records released a revised version of the compilation, removing and adding several songs, titled 'Illusion is Now'.


  • Travis Meeks – lead vocals, guitar (1995–2014)
  • Todd Whitener – guitar, backing vocals (1995–1999, 2014)
  • Jesse Vest – bass (1995–1999, 2014)
  • Mat Taul – drums (1995–1999, 2014)
  • Mike Starr – bass (2010–2011; died 2011)
  • Ray Rizzo – drums, percussion (1999–2008)
  • Brian Vinson – bass, upright bass (1999–2000, 2007–2010)
  • Dave Neill – bass, upright bass (2010, 2012)
  • Billy Youngblood – bass (2010)
  • Rob Edwards – drums (2009–2010)
  • Malcolm Gold – bass (2007–2009, 2012)
  • Karen Rambat – flutist (2004–2006)
  • Jason Fresta – bass (2011–2014)
  • Taylor James – guitar, alto guitar (2008)
  • Rachael Beaver – cello, backing vocals (2008)
  • Brigid Kaelin – accordion, backing vocals (2008)
  • Geddy Friedman – drums (2010)
  • Chuck Mingis – guitar (2001–2003)
  • Michael Huettig – bass (2000–2002)
  • Nicole Scherzinger – backing vocals (1999–2000)
  • Doug Florio – guitar (1999–2001; died 2018)
  • Kimmet Cantwell – keyboards (1999–2001)
  • Shane Vetter – guitar (2000)
  • Craig Wagner – guitar (1999–2000)
  • Charlie Colin – bass (2010, 2014)
  • Paul Culligan – drums (2004–2012, 2014)
  • Damon Fountain – drums, backing vocals, rhythm guitar (1998–2001)
  • Michael Anthony King – guitars, backing vocals (2001–2003, 2007–2009, 2014)
  • Adam Turgeon - drums (1996; died 2020)



Studio albums[edit]

Year Album details Peak chart positions Sales Certifications
(sales thresholds)
1997 Days of the New (Yellow)
  • Released: June 3, 1997
  • Label: Outpost (30004)
  • Format: CD, CS
54 47 1 183
1999 Days of the New (Green)
  • Released: August 31, 1999
  • Label: Outpost (30037)
  • Format: CD, CS
40 93
2001 Days of the New (Red)
  • Released: September 25, 2001
  • Label: Outpost (490767)
  • Format: CD, CS
"—" denotes a release that did not chart.

Unreleased albums[edit]

Year Album details
2004 Days of the New (Purple, Crimson or Grey)
2008 Days of the New Presents Tree Colors (Rainbow)
2014 Aqua Marine Shuttle (Blue EP)

All of these unreleased albums have been reconstructed from outtakes floating online and uploaded, among with other related material, on an unofficial YouTube channel which has later been converted in the official channel of Travis Meeks.[31]

Live albums[edit]

Year Album details
2004 Live Bootleg
  • Release: 2004
  • Formats: CD

Compilation albums[edit]

Year Album details
2008 The Definitive Collection
  • Released: March 4, 2008
  • Label: Geffen (1046602)
  • Formats: CD


Year Song Peak chart positions Album


1997 "Touch, Peel and Stand" 6 1 38 35 88 Days of the New (yellow)
1998 "The Down Town" 19 1
"Shelf in the Room" 22 3 90
1999 "Enemy" 10 2 Days of the New (green)
2000 "Weapon & the Wound" 10
2001 "Hang on to This" 18 Days of the New (red)
2002 "Die Born"
"—" denotes a release that did not chart.

Soundtracks and notable appearances[edit]

Music videos[edit]

"Touch, Peel and Stand"
"The Down Town"
"Shelf In The Room"


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External links[edit]