Days of the New

Days of the New
Days of the New
Origin Charlestown, Indiana, United States
Genres Post-grunge, acoustic rock, alternative rock
Years active 1995–present
Labels Outpost Records
Interscope Records
Associated acts Tantric
Alice in Chains
Travis Meeks
Charlie Colin
Jason Fresta
Ray Rizzo
Paul Culligan
Past members
Mike Starr
Todd Whitener
Matt Taul
Jesse Vest
Mike Huettig
Brian Vinson
Malcolm Gold
Dave Neill
Rachael Beaver
Taylor James
Nicole Scherzinger

Days of the New is an American alternative rock band from Louisville, Kentucky, formed in 1995.[1] The band consists 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".



Early years

Days of the New began as an experimental rock/metal trio called Dead Reckoning, with Meeks, 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 Travis Meeks but is credited to Days of the New. Jesse Vest and Matt Taul are listed as band members in the liner notes; although, they do not appear on this recording.

Producer Scott Litt signed the band after their third live show.


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 former was #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 the Godzilla 2000 album.

Internal problems of the band were evident early on. Shortly after releasing their debut album, Days of the New began touring for small shows. 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, stating that, 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 11 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.[2] It was finally confirmed in February 1999 that the band indeed split up. Todd Whitener, Matt 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.

Over the years, two somewhat contradictory versions of the original Days of the New breakup have developed. It was widely reported in 1998 and still believed that Travis Meeks fired his fellow musicians, aided largely by his personal comments; however, he has since said that this is not true and that they left out of jealousy due to the fact that he wrote virtually all of the songs and received all royalty checks. When Meeks first announced their departure months prior to its conceiving, and without label confirmation, he gave a less than positive remark, stating "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." Meeks also posted comments on a fan message board: "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."[3] However, the following year during a live online chat, he seemed quite comfortable with the circumstance and treated it as though it were more mutual between them. Meeks has since said to have empathy toward their supposed choice to leave and claims to understand their viewpoint.


Just one year after the original band's breakup, Meeks had assembled a new Days of the New and recorded a second album. Titled Days of the New, and often referred to as "Green." The album was released on August 31, 1999 and introduced a variety of different styles. Many of the album's songs contained intros and codas to seamlessly carry into the next song. Meeks debuted his new band on September 4, 1999 at the Ear Xtacy store in Louisville.

Critics were fairly enthusiastic about "Green," but the album sold poorly compared to the first, selling around 450,000 copies. It had two hit singles, the first was "Enemy" which reached #2 on Mainstrem Rock Charts and #10 on Modern Rock Charts [4] and then the second was "Weapon and the Wound" which reached #10 on Mainstream Rock Charts.[5] "Green" also featured Nicole Scherzinger as a vocalist on six of the songs on the album including "Flight Response", "The Real", "Take Me Back Then", "Phobics of Tragedy", "Bring Yourself" and "Last One."[6] After touring to support the album, Meeks contributed to the Doors tribute album Stoned Immaculate: The Music of the Doors as lead vocalist on a cover of "The End" and "L.A. Woman." [7]

In February 2000, Meeks returned to the studio with a new band and was finished by July. Still using the Days of the New name, the third album incorporated aspects of the previous two - much of the energy from the first album had returned, combined with orchestral interludes similar to the second album. In keeping with the previous albums' names, the third album is also called Days of the New, or "Red." The first single "Hang on to This" charted fairly at #18[8]and was the most added song on rock radio the week of its debut. However, the album was released two weeks after the 9/11 attacks and, with very little promotion, only sold 90,000 copies. Days of the New maintained a profile touring with the likes of Creed and 3 Doors Down. Meanwhile, the self-titled debut of Tantric, featuring Meeks' former bandmates, gained strong commercial success and went on to achieve platinum status. Earlier that year, after being scheduled to play at the Atlanta Music Midtown Festival, Days of the New canceled at the last minute. This was widely speculated to be a result of Tantric's involvement in the event.,[9] but in fact was due to Meeks entering rehab.


After touring for "Red," the band went through a period of inactivity, when they parted ways with Interscope. In December 2002, Travis Meeks was involved in a high-profile audition for Velvet Revolver with the former members of Guns N' Roses.[10] In the later half of 2003, Travis Meeks embarked on a solo tour performing at small venues. He continued to suffer from drug addiction and, in early 2005, appeared on A&E's Intervention, where his family and friends convinced him to enter rehab and battle his addiction to methamphetamine.[11]

In September 2005, Meeks declared sobriety from methamphetamine, and resumed writing for a fourth Days of the New record, with the tentative color being Purple. He began to tour again in 2007, with a revolving cast of touring musicians, including past touring members such as Ray Rizzo and Brian Vinson, along with other session musicians.

On March 4, 2008, Geffen released Days of the New: The Definitive Collection, the first compilation of the band. In an interview that same year with LEO Weekly, an alternative magazine out of Louisville, Kentucky, Meeks stated that the upcoming record will be called Days of the New Presents Tree Colors.[12] The record has been in production for several years, recorded in Travis's own studio. It is said to have a very theatrical sound, incorporating instruments such as the cello, harp, and koto. Several songs from the new record have been played live, such as "Where It Ends", "Superhero", and "Nothing Is Wrong".

In 2010, Mike Starr of Alice in Chains began playing with Travis, both in recording sessions and preparing for a tour that also would feature Charlie Colin of Train.[13] Unfortunately, Starr passed away on March 8, 2011, before touring had begun.[14]

Visual themes

Various artistic themes are notable throughout the tenure of Days of the New. Every album focuses on a particular color and usually involves themes of small town rural America. The most obvious visual hallmark, however, is that the cover art for every Days of the New features a twisted old tree. In a 2008 interview, Travis Meeks cryptically discussed this symbol and its personal significance to him:

I’ve seen this picture on the wall of a tree, that many people have seen, but no one has seen it like I have, and I have this relationship with the tree, and it’s gotten me through years, and I got this vision. The tree is my emblem; I have a tree belt.

It is my superhero. It was a painting on the wall that a lot of people had already seen. I had a moment and a vision. Tears were in my eyes. I went into the picture, and I found myself sitting in the picture. Part of Asperger’s is associating sound with vision, so I see what I hear. That’s how I write. That’s how I continue to write my records.

Current touring members

  • Travis Meeks - Vocals, Guitar (1995–present)
  • Paul Culligan - Drums (2004–present)
  • Ray Rizzo - Drums, Percussion (1999–present)
  • Charlie Colin - Bass (2010–present) (Formerly of Train)
  • Jason Fresta - Bass (2011–present)

Past touring members

  • Mike Starr - Bass (2011)
  • Brian Vinson - Bass, Upright Bass (1999–2000, 2007–2010)
  • Billy Youngblood - Bass/Cello (2010)
  • Dave Neill - Bass, Upright Bass (2010)
  • Rob Edwards - Drums (2009-2010)
  • Malcolm Gold - Bass (2007–2009)
  • Taylor James - Guitar, Alto Guitar (2008)
  • Rachael Beaver - Cello, Backing Vocals (2008)
  • Brigid Kaelin - Accordion, Backing Vocals (2008)
  • Chuck Mingis - Guitar (2001–2003)
  • Michael Huettig - Bass (2000–2002)
  • Nicole Scherzinger - Backing Vocals (1999–2000)
  • Doug Florio - Guitar (1999–2001)
  • Kimmet Cantwell - Keyboards (1999–2001)
  • Shane Vetter - Guitar (2000)
  • Craig Wagner - Guitar (1999–2000)
  • Todd Whitener - Guitar (1996–1999)
  • Jesse Vest - Bass (1995–1999)
  • Matt Taul - Drums (1995–1999)

Crew Members Over The Years

  • Levi Sullivan
  • Mike Brown
  • Christopher Fox
  • Jonathan Hay [12]
  • Rick Smith [12]
  • Jason Horne
  • David Carpenter
  • Greg Harris
  • Taylor James
  • Rachael Beaver
  • Jeral Tidwell [15]
  • Gary Meeks [12]
  • Dave Meeks
  • Phil Burnette
  • Travis Miller
  • Jeremy Gibson
  • Dave "Sailor" Bryant [16]
  • Charlie MacPherson
  • Jason Fresta


Studio albums

Year Album details Peak chart positions Certifications
(sales thresholds)
1997 Days of the New
  • Released: June 3, 1997
  • Label: Outpost (30004)
  • Format: CD, CS
40 47 1 183 US: Platinum[21]
1999 Days of the New II
  • Released: August 31, 1999
  • Label: Outpost (30037)
  • Format: CD, CS
2001 Days of the New III
  • Released: September 25, 2001
  • Label: Uptown/Universal (490767)
  • Format: CD, CS
unreleased Days of the New Presents Tree Colors
  • Released: TBR
  • Label: Days of the New Productions
  • Format: CD
"—" denotes a release that did not chart.

Live albums

Year Title
2004 Days of the New: Live Bootleg
  • Release: 2004
  • Formats: CD

Compilation albums

Year Title
2008 Days of the New: The Definitive Collection
  • Released: March 4, 2008
  • Label: Geffen (1046602)
  • Formats: CD


Year Title Peak chart positions Album


1997 "Touch, Peel and Stand" 57[A] 6 1 38 35 94 Days of the New
1998 "Shelf in the Room" 22 3
"The Down Town" 19 1
1999 "Enemy" 110[B] 10 2 Days of the New II
2000 "Weapon & the Wound" 10
2001 "Hang on to This" 18 Days of the New III
2002 "Die Born"
"—" denotes a release that did not chart.


  • A.^ "Touch, Peel and Stand" peaked on the US Radio Songs chart.
  • B.^ "Enemy" peaked outside of the US Billboard Hot 100 chart, therefore it is listed on the Bubbling Under Hot 100 chart.


  1. ^ Strong, Martin C. (2000). The Great Rock Discography (5th ed.). Edinburgh: Mojo Books. p. 246. ISBN 1-84195-017-3. 
  2. ^ Days Of The New Cancel Tour (November 10, 1998). Retrieved on August 30, 2008.
  3. ^ Days of the New Continue to Confuse (August 25, 1998). Retrieved on August 30, 2008.
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ Surviving Doors Reunite
  8. ^ Days of the New III
  9. ^ Davis, Darren Pulls Out Of Atlanta Fest Due To Tantric? Yahoo! Music (May 8, 2001) Retrieved on 12-22-10.
  10. ^ [1] DAYS OF THE NEW Frontman Collaborates With Former GUNS N' ROSES Members
  11. ^ Travis Meeks on A&E's Intervention
  12. ^ a b c d You're Talking to a Miracle. LEO Weekly. July 16, 2008.
  13. ^ [2] New Details About Mike Starr's Death
  14. ^ [3] Ex-Alice In Chains Bassist Mike Starr Found Dead from (Mar 8 2011)
  15. ^ [4]
  16. ^ [5]
  17. ^ "Days of the New > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 2011-02-19. 
  18. ^ a b "Discography Days of the New". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2011-02-19. 
  19. ^ a b "Discography Days of the New". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2011-02-19. 
  20. ^ a b Zywietz, Tobias. "Chart Log UK: Asher D – Dyverse". Zobbel. Retrieved 2011-02-19. 
  21. ^ "RIAA certifications". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 2011-02-19. 
  22. ^ "Days of the New Album & Song Chart History: Alternative Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 2011-02-19. 
  23. ^ "Days of the New > Charts & Awards > Billboard Singles". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 2011-02-19. 

External links

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