MANUEL GAGNEUX Zeal & ARDOR
Black metal’s oddest new star on horrible tea, Blood, and corey taylor Blowing his pants off…
ON ROCK’N’ROLL… Have you ever shed blood in the name of rock’n’roll? “There was one time I cut my hand onstage in Newyork, probably because I have terrible technique. It wasn’t even in Zeal & Ardor – it was some pop gig that was nothing like the bloodcurdling stuff I do now, so the crowd didn’t even care for it. Instead of screaming,‘fuck yeah! More blood!’ they were probably wondering if I was okay!”
What’s the longest you’ve ever gone Without sleep?
“Probably around 36 hours, but this is going to sound so disappointing: I was writing and thought if I didn’t sleep, I might write better music. At the time, I was convinced it was the best stuff ever! After sleeping for a while and listening back to what I created, it was absolute shit.there weren’t even any drugs involved – I drank a highlycaffeinated tea that’s stronger than coffee, but instead of using boiling water to make it, I used Monster Energy drink. It was the most disgusting and vile thing I’ve ever put into my body.”
Have you ever Had a gun pointed in your face?
“Yes I have, but it was only a joke and definitely not a life-threatening situation. It was juvenile, alcoholfuelled stupidity.when I was 19, I went to study physics at the nuclear defence laboratory [the Spiez Laboratory] in Switzerland, but in order to do that, I had to do this military thing and carry a fucking rifle! So this was just some stupid thing, like joining the military, to be honest.” Nuclear physics? Defence? Switzerland? You had the plot of a James Bond movie there and you blew it… FAILURES AND F’UPS…
What’s the Worst cock-up you’ve ever Had onstage?
“When we were recently opening for Prophets Of Rage in Luxembourg. I was supposed to sing between the songs, and normally I have perfect pitch, but that day I fucking didn’t! I freestyled my way in and glided up a scale that sounded horrific.you could actually see people wincing in the audience.they were not into it at all.”
What’s the Worst lyric that you’ve ever Written?
“There’s so much to choose from here! Probably the lyrics ‘Stay in the streets and out of school’ from a song called Stay In The Streets And Out Of School. It’s a song I wrote while I was playing as Birdmask, and there’s no way of fixing that one.writing something completely different would be the only remedy.” And they say black metal’s a bad influence… LIFESTYLES OF THE RICH AND FAMOUS… What famous person Have you been most starstruck to meet? “Slavoj Žižek. He’s a famous communist dude that came to do a talk at NYU [Newyork University] and I snuck in to see him.the guy is like a superstar in theoretical politics. He has very interesting ideas that are pretty radical, and I admire that in a person.though I can’t subscribe to everything he says, of course…”
WHO is the most famous fan of Zeal & ardor?
“It’s a three-way tie – there’s Tom Morello, Slash and Corey Taylor.as far as cop-outs go, at least that’s a decent one! But I’ve probably listened to Corey Taylor the most – I loved Slipknot growing up and they’ve influenced everything I do. Seeing him liking stuff I post on Twitter blew my pants off!” There’s some sort of fart joke here, but we’re too grown up to make it… ON THE HYPOTHETICAL… you get to front any band from History. WHO do you pick? “Shit, that’s a tough one… I’m gonna go with Mr. Bungle! My favourite album of theirs is California . I discovered them while getting into strange music, and they are one of the most famous examples of avantgarde sounds. I like the playfulness they approach it with – it’s not theorist, it’s actually really, really interesting.” if you ruled the World, What’s the first law you’d enact? “You have to pass a test to have children.you can’t just pop them out like that – in my ideal world, you’d have to prove your ability. It’s kinda ridiculous when you think about it; you need to pass tests to drive a car, don’t you? You can’t just create people! The population figures are getting a bit silly.” Well, Nuclear War 2017 is going to take care of that over-population problem, so you’d do well to have a different policy in your back pocket… SPIRITUAL HEADMELTER… your album is called devil is fine, but is He really? “Fuck yeah, he is! I think the Devil is what we actually want – he’s all those urges we suppress. Sometimes we have to actually give into them – and that is the Devil, who, in my eyes, is fine! We all have a Devil inside of us, it’s just a question of honesty. You can be all Catholic and suppress it and get stomach ulcers, or you can go ahead and tackle it!” Tackle the Devil? After you, pal…
“I STUDIED PHYSICS AT A NUCLEAR DEFENCE FACILITY…” manuel gagneux