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You won’t hear howling from this Japanese wolf import

By Mimi Chen

Move over Godzilla.  There’s a five-headed wolf Band from Japan delivering rap metal set to unleash shows across the US in May.  They’re called Man With A Mission and while they sell-out arenas in many places in the world, having earned fans from their music placed in various projects in anime and games.

Those anime projects include Seven Deadly Sins, Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron Blooded Orphans. Gamers have heard their music in the video game: Street Fighter V and have also helped build their fan base. Man with a Mission is still building their following in the US, but we predict new fans will erupt from their latest tour entitled Wolves on Parade.

We understand thru various media sources, such as Wikipedia, that the band suddenly sprouted Wolf Heads seemingly overnight, but we wanted to find out the real story from the band.  Guitarist/vocalist/rapper Jean-Ken Johnny declined to wax over the details but he did say,
“We started this band in 2010. It’s been 13 years. It’s been a beautiful career so far, and I’m proud. I’m proud that we have a chance to come back to the USA.”

Jean-Ken notes that while he is looking forward to seeing towns they have never toured before, such as Houston and Cleveland, he hopes to be able to sample the clam chowder in San Francisco, even though being part wolf means they prefer “Meat.”  “But,” he notes, “It’s safe to say we love meat more than vegetables.  Nowadays tho we have to take care of our health. So, yeah, Balanced diet. That’s what we care about.”

Biggest influences the band has had?  Says Jean-Ken, “All the music that was going on in the nineties. From the US, bands such as Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins, Rage Against the Machine, Linkin Park, The Chemical Brothers. We definitely have the heritage of that music.  But we are also trying to make it hybrid, you know, our music is a mixture with modern vibes as well.”

Their shows not only mix 90’s rock sentiment, but also include rap, a DJ that gives it an EDM touch and, of course, the famous wolf heads.  It’s a spectacle not to be missed. 

Their music is a product of a working relationship in the band where the two main songwriters consisting of Jean-Ken and Kamikaze Boy bring their ideas to the rest of the band to flesh it out.

“We bring it to the members using, DTM (desktop music) kind of stuff, PC works and try to build it up and afterwards, you know, we just hand it over to each member, such as the drummer, the DJ and add their ideas as well.”

When asked if they noticed a difference in the reception they receive in Japan where they are wildly popular vs America, Jean-Ken notes that Japanese audiences tend to be reserved.  ”They might be a little bit nervous about the music.  They’re probably checking out one, two or three songs and then maybe, you know, they suddenly realize, oh, I like this band!  But I would say that you guys really relax quickly, right?”  

While Americans tend to get into the spirit of the music quickly, “at the same time all over the world, whoever likes music and whoever is in love with the music, reacts really good!” he notes.

You can obtain tickets for their current tour thru Ticketmaster and other outlets.

May 14 San Francisco, CA August Hall
May 15 Los Angeles, CA The Regent Theater
May 18 Dallas, TX Cambridge Room at HOB Dallas
May 19 Houston, TX Bronze Peacock at HOB Houston
May 21 Chicago, IL House of Blues
May 25 Toronto, ON The Axis Club
May 26 New York, NY Irving Plaza
May 28 Boston, MA Brighton Music Hall

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