by John Tarpley
After grunge burned out and faded away in the late '90s, making room for headier rock music, alternative techno and uncomfortably confessional singer/songwriter styles, Days of the New forged on. The band emerged from Charleston, Ind., sporting acoustic guitars instead of the standard low-slung solid body and one of the most interesting voices of the genre, courtesy of Travis Meeks. (By "interesting," I mean "it sounds like a really sincere jaw harp crammed in a tailpipe.")
Now, in 2011, Days of the New has grown into a solo endeavor for Meeks, who has spent the last 15 years hiring and firing a parade of backing musicians like prog-grunge's volatile, megalomaniacal response to Mark E. Smith. In fact, his last 15 years have been, well, a lot more interesting than the music would suggest to unfamiliar ears: struggles with mild autism and a buffet of other mental imbalances; a nasty booze and meth addiction that left him with a weight in the double digits; six years cooped up in a studio as an active transvestite; a feature spot in an episode of "Intervention" and, eventually, sobriety. His upcoming album, "Days of the New Presents Tree Colors," is his first in 10 years and, surely, a bare account of years of mayhem. Days of the New plays alongside Magnolia-based post-hardcore act A Faith Forgotten and local metal act At War's End.
Check it out: "Superhero" (live and solo at KXFX Studio)