Where I stand

Partially-reunited Days of the New at Oddbody’s

By Justin Kreitzer

Photo: Travis Meeks, Days of the New frontman, will perform on Nov. 7 at Oddbody’s Music Room; photo: Jason Fresta

Nostalgia for the ’90s is at an all-time high especially in the music world – where bands like Weezer, and Dayton’s own The Breeders and Shrug have recently celebrated 20th anniversaries.

Back in 1997, Days of the New exploded onto modern rock radio charts with their dark and heavy acoustic-based post-grunge sound. Their platinum-selling self-titled debut album, led by the smash single “Touch, Peel and Stand,” had the band primed for success for years to come. Unfortunately, it was short-lived, as the band broke up a year later, due to personal strife and creative differences, while on tour with Metallica and Alice in Chains. Founding member and vocalist/guitarist Travis Meeks soldiered on, releasing two more albums under the Days moniker. The other members, guitarist Todd Whitener, bassist Jesse Vest and drummer Matt Taul went on to form the band Tantric, also achieving platinum status with their debut album.

It has been nearly 16 years since the original lineup has played together. Recently, the hatchet was buried and the reformed lineup set out on the Full Circle tour this summer and fall. That tour includes a stop at Oddbody’s in Dayton on Friday, Nov. 7.

In an unsurprising but ironic twist, the good vibes of the reunion didn’t last long, and the tour once again went “full circle,” imploding in September in St. Louis as frontman Travis Meeks – who has a history of drug addiction – was reported to be “dazed and incoherent” during the performance. This led bassist Jesse Vest to stop the performance and announce the band’s breakup as they walked off stage. To his credit, Meeks has plans to fulfill his promises and continue the tour, along with a new backing band that may still include Whitener and Taul but will be without Vest. Charlie Colin, a former member of Train, will step in to play bass for the remaining shows, including their scheduled Dayton performance at Oddbody’s. In anticipation of their performance, Dayton City Paper spoke with Travis Meeks after the recent turmoil about the ups and downs of the reunion and what the future holds for him and his band.

They say, “time heals all wounds” and that seems to be the case with Days of the New. Can you please tell us what sparked the reformation and how it all came together? What were your expectations going in and how has the reaction been from fans?

The reunion was a case of just getting on the phone and texting each other to see if there was an interest. It’s been a struggle at times to keep this going and Jesse Vest is stepping out. For the time being, Charlie Colin is stepping in on bass for him. So you might see some different lineups at different shows. The expectation is to keep Days of the New evolving and the reaction from the fans has been great so far. – Travis Meeks

Obviously, a lot has changed in the music scene in the last 16 years. Despite the nostalgia factor, how do you think Days of the New fits into the musical landscape in this day and age?

I never try to fit in, only to create the Days of the New vibe. I’m not chasing anything, just doing my thing. – TM

In May you announced Days of the New would be recording new music. Can we still expect to see a new album in the near future?

I am sorting out songs with the band, trying different arrangements. [We’re] still in the preproduction mode at this point, but we have been experimenting with some new songs on the road. – TM

Will it be a more collaborative project this time around?

Each new song is different, so I don’t know just yet what everyone’s role will be. – TM

Will you be performing any of the new songs on tour?

Yes, “Magic Man” is a regular part of the set at this point, and we will be working other new songs in soon. – TM

What does the future hold for Days of the New?

I just have to be true to the vibe and keep moving. – TM

Days of the New will perform on Friday, Nov. 7 at Oddbody’s Music Room, 5418 Burkhardt Road in Dayton. Brent James & The Vintage Youth and Able Danger are also on the bill. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 on the day of the show. The show is for patrons 18 and older with valid ID. For more information on the show, please visit oddbodys.com. For more information on Days of the New, please visit https://www.facebook.com/pages/Days-of-the-New-Presents-Tree-Colors/107603959267112.

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Reach DCP freelance writer Justin Kreitzer at JustinKreitzer@DaytonCityPaper.com.

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