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Travis Meeks | Artist On The Spectrum

by | May 4, 2018 | Artists, Blog, Music

Last week , for my first article in the series “Artist On The Spectrum”, I featured Opera/Pop artist Susan Boyle. Today’s featured artist is quite a bit different. If you’re a fan o  post-grunge rock you will be very pleased. Travis Meeks is the highly creative, lead singer and guitarist from the band, Days of the New. Meeks also has Aspergers.

Meeks Childhood

Travis was born 27 of April, 1979. At the early age of 2, his mother and father divorce. After the divorce, he and his father moved in with his grand mother. From the beginning Travis was creative and started his music at an early age. He played guitar and wrote songs and by the age of 8, travis started performing them.

As with many artists Travis’ childhood wasn’t idealic.  From 11 to 15, Travis went to various rehabilitation centres. He also attended a year in a special schooling centre. It was during this time that Travis formed the band with Jeese Vest and Matt Taul called Bad Dreemz. They later changed the name to Dead Reckoning, and then later changed it to the band we now know as Days of the New.

The  Big Time

At 17, Travis and his friends who were all teens, signed their first major label record contract. Their first album, Yellow, was very successful. It housed the #1 Billboard song, “Touch, Peel, and Stand”.  After the release of the album and to increase exposure, Days of the New toured with Metallica and Jerry Cantrell. Throughout the forth coming years, Day’s of the New released 3 studio albums, 1 live, 1 compilation album and, several singles.

Like many artists, Travis struggled with drug addiction. It was this that has been attributed to the break up of Days of the New  in 2014.

Asperger Diagnoses

Meeks was diagnosed with Aspergers in 2005. Below is his poetically moving account of experiences prior to his diagnoses.

“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.”

Go Dad! It’s great to read his father’s ability to see his son’s uniqueness and give Travis an outlet  for his strengths.

The Tree

As many aspies can identify with, Travis personified objects. His object was a gnarled tree. This is the theme on their albums.

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.

Being a lover of trees, I can definitely appreciate Travis’ candour and respectful reverence of his tree.

Throughout his life, Travis sought to be heard and understood. Travis’ father saw it, protected and allowed him find his voice. Meeks struggled with addiction and was able to express a reality that many people are able to relate to.

What are your thoughts?  Do you have a gifted child? How do you nurture your child’s gifts? Do you have any tips to share?  Do you have any challenges you’d like to share or how you are handling them?

Here is a Days of the New video playlist.

Thank you for reading.

James

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