|Birth name||Travis Shane Meeks|
April 27, 1979 |
Charlestown, Indiana, United States
|Genres||Alternative rock, acoustic rock, grunge, post-grunge|
Early life and career
Meeks was born on April 27, 1979 in Charlestown, Indiana. His parents divorced when he was 2 and 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."
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 charts 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.
Meeks has standing invitations to perform at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, as well as to front the Boston Pops. 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.
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 methamphetamines 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's 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."
- "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."
-  'You're talking to a miracle - Travis Meeks heals one piece at a time'
- 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. 'Travis Meeks's Biography'
- Borgman, Stephen. "Famous People With Aspergers: Travis Meeks". Thrive With Aspergers. Stephen Borgman. Retrieved 2016-06-27.
- Parker, Lyndsey Exclusive LAUNCH Artist Chat - Days of the New Yahoo! Music (November 8, 2008). Retrieved on August 28, 2008.
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