Japanese Superstars Man With A Mission Set Their Sights On Global Domination
Welcome to the weird and wonderful world of Man With A Mission, a half-human, half-wolf musical collective, on a quest to deliver their special brand of alt.rock J-pop on a global scale!
As the story goes, the five-piece were the result of a crazed science experiment carried out many moons ago, by a genius biologist named Dr. Jimi Hendrix from ‘Ladyland’. Possessing superhuman physiques and superior intellect, the wolfpack were taken under the charge of powerful leaders like Genghis Khan, Attila the Hun and Ivan the Terrible to do dastardly deeds at their behest. So wracked with guilt was Dr. Jimi, he ensured the group were frozen in the Antarctic to avoid their special abilities being misused for evil means again. And then global warming hit and the group discovered modern music in 2010.
Or so the rather odd story goes…
Whatever you make of their mythology, there’s no escaping the fact that Man With A Mission are megastars in their native Japan, and having just caused a scene on their recent UK tour, the rest of the globe is in their sights next. Are you ready to run with the pack? Maybe this will entice you…
THEIR STORY IS METAL AS FUCK
What’s more metal than five, formerly evil dudes turned good, dressed as wolves and playing rock music? Exactly.
“We weren’t playing music in the early days,” explains lead wolfpack member Jean-Ken Johnny. “We were actually made in a lab, and unfortunately we brought great evil upon the world, so our creator froze us. In 2010, we came out of the ice, and when we heard it music it changed our thoughts and made us realise that we wanted to make our own.”
Oh right. Similar story to how Nirvana started, really.
THE WORLD NEEDS THIS BAND… APPARENTLY
Exactly why were Man With A Mission frozen? And what sort of evil deeds did they get up to? Classified info, sadly. We did ask…
“I’m definitely not allowed to say what we did,” Jean-Ken Johnny the spoilsport says, “because that would change history, and your history…”
Damn. Still, at least they’re good boys now though, and ever since they were thawed out due to the deterioration of the planet’s global health, they were filled with goodness in their hearts, and music in their souls.
“We express what we think of the world – the main part of our mission is about expressing and talking about what’s happening in the world right now.”
Luckily no-one introduced the gang to Twitter, or theirs might have been a very shortlived mission indeed.
THEY’VE BEEN BONING UP ON KILLER TUNES
For a band who were preserved in ice for centuries, MWAM have emerged with a curiously attuned ear for decent music, citing Britpop, grunge, nu metal and pop-punk as faves, all of which they’ve combined in their own band to create a sound as hybridised as their personnel’s DNA.
“The ’90s era of music was a massive influence, but a lot of UK artists like The Stone Roses, Oasis and American bands like Nirvana and Deftones were huge for us too.”
It’s not just old school acts that get them howling with glee, however.
“We like newer bands like Fall Out Boy and Neck Deep too.”
That’s handy, because…
THEY’VE WORKED WITH PATRICK STUMP
Their 2017 single, Dead End In Tokyo showed the band embracing those pop-punk influences in full. If it sounds a bit like Fall Out Boy, that might partly be because none other than Patrick Stump produced the track with the band.
“It was great. Working with him was really just amazing,” says Johnny. “We went to his house and talked a lot about where we wanted to go, and what ideas he had, then he started with the lyrics first and we had never done that before.”
Nice to know Patrick and the fam were so cool with a bunch of wolves just hanging around their gaff. Let’s hope they got on okay with Frosty and Royal Tea, otherwise the carnage doesn’t bear thinking about.
Dead End In Tokyo
THEY’RE CERTIFIED MEGASTARS IN JAPAN
You don’t get to work with Patrick Stump for no reason. And this lot have plenty of reasons, having already released four successful studio albums, making them so huge in their homeland the likes of Fall Out Boy and Don Broco support them in arena sized venues.
“I guess we are doing pretty good in Japan. The crowd and the people who come to our shows are really amazing – they worship the band, and are crazy about the music.”
Doing ‘pretty’ good? Wonder what their definition of success is…
THE UK AND BEYOND IS NEXT ON THE AGENDA
“It’s always a great experience seeing new people and coming out to places like the UK,” says Johnny, fresh from decimating venues here in the past couple of weeks. “When we started the band we always looked to connect our image and music to the whole wide world, to play all the heavy music festivals around the globe.”
AND THEY’LL BE ARMED WITH NEW MUSIC SOON…
“We’re working on a new album,” he promises. “It’s coming out in, like, June or July, we’ve got a couple more songs to go.”
And Johny is feeling rather confident about said future release.
“It’s going to be a really amazing album,” he proclaims.
Guess we’ll just have to wait and see. In the meantime, check out the band’s latest full-length below, and stay tuned for more adventures from Man With A Mission…
WORDS: James Hingle