Days of the New are not breaking up, according to frontman Travis Meeks, they're just "losing weight." Apparently he means around 500 pounds. Meeks has told fans that following the group's soon-to-be-embarked-on tour with Metallica, he's dropping his three current bandmates -- guitarist/vocalist Todd Whitener, drummer Matt Taul and bassist Jesse Vest.
Meeks was interviewed on the phone by the proprietor of one internet fan site (www.angelfire.com/md/dotn/index.html) and staged a question and answer session with another (www.geocities.com/SunsetStrip/Underground/2346/). He told his interviewers that he intended to keep the name Days of the New, but as a solo act with back-up players. He expects to release a new album, titled "Days of the New II," next year.
He said the loss of the other players will make little difference to the music seeing as he was the primary songwriter. He added that he had no problem with taking the name, it was his idea, his "gig." Meeks said that credit wasn't an issue, but he felt he had moved ahead from where he was and that the other members were holding him back. "It's like a journey in the wilderness," Meeks told one interviewer. "You know with like the struggle and stuff. I made it through, I survived, but the other guys didn't."
According to Meeks, the three bandmembers were disappointed with his decision but he thought that they would remain friends.
A spokesperson for his record label, DGC/Geffen, which distributes Outpost, confirms that Meeks made the comments, but told MTV News that "Travis just talks." She said the label was taking a "wait and see" approach, and pointed out that there was a lot of time left before the current band comes off the road, thus there was still lots of room for Meeks, who just turned 19, to change his plans.
The volatile Meeks signed to Outpost when he was just 17, his bandmates were only a year or two older. Since releasing their hit self-titled debut in May of '97, rumors of dissent have been commonplace. This past April, Days of the New missed one appearance in Florida and showed up at their next show with multiple black eyes, bruises and at least one broken or nearly broken jaw. Reports from sources involved with the show said the injuries were the result of a band brawl.
The group had recently completed their own recording studio, Distillery Sound near Louisville, Kentucky with the blessings of Outpost (blessings that reportedly came with $500,000 in funding). The Outpost label is under the auspices of producer Scott Litt.
Days of the New are currently performing a handful of low-key warm-up dates before taking the stage with Metallica and Jerry Cantrell in West Palm Beach, Florida on June 24.