Before Zeal & Ardor’s set at Welcome To Rockville 2019, Manuel and Tizi talk about their first time performing festivals, appreciating their success and hype, and share a crazy fan story about someone giving them a replica Manuel head with fake hair and blood.
Zeal & Ardor is a Swiss avant-garde metal band started and led by Manuel Gagneux, a Swiss-American musician who had previously created a chamber pop project called Birdmask. Formed in 2013, the band mixes sounds of negro spirituals with black metal. Initially a solo project, the band signed with MVKA records in 2016 and expanded to a full lineup, with Gagneux on vocals and guitar, backing vocalists Denis Wagner and Marc Obrist, guitarist Tiziano Volante, bassist Mia Rafaela Dieu, and drummer Marco Von Allmen. The project started in New York City, but is now based in Basel, Switzerland.