Shortly before Tuska started we got contacted by the promotor of Man With A Mission. They’re a band operating from Japan, but profiling themselves as a group without nationality. A little background story: they were created by Dr. Jimi (Hendrix) and have a human body with a wolf’s head. Because of all the evil they did in the world, Jimi decided to put them in ice cells on the Antarctic so they couldn’t cause any more harm. In 2010, due to the climate changes, the ice cap got melted enough for them to escape their icy prison. They quickly conquered Japan with their music and are now looking to take over the rest of the world. But are they still evil or did their time in solitary imprisonment change them? We went to try and figure out what they’re all about…
After some troubles finding them at the right backstage area, we sat down with singer/rapper and wolf in the shade to hide from the heat…
So we read your background story and we’re really interested in the whole thing. We were wondering in the lines of your story, what was the first thing you guys did when you got “defrosted”, let’s say?
Defrosted? Well, while we were frosted in the Antarctica we listened to all kinds of music that was going on all over the world and it really moved us a lot, like everything that was going on in the sixties and the seventies. The music does a lot to you guys, you know, it moves your emotion. It can sometimes be really powerful to assemble people that have the common mind to do something. It moved us a lot, so while we were frozen, we were like “maybe next time if we have the chance to come out to the world, yeah, maybe next time we can do something with music” and that’s why we formed a band.
We also read that Jimi froze you because you were too evil, how is it with you now?
We were naughty, we didn’t do that much good to the world. We probably did too much so yeah, we got some time to be in the basement, you know? (laughs) Like when you guys get schooled from your parents.
So your mission now is more in the direction of doing good?
Yes! I hope so (laughs) I hope so! Like, you know, music does a lot of things to you guys, to us too. And part of our mission…we’re called Man With A Mission, but yeah… part of our mission is probably spreading the mind, maybe the beauty of music, maybe the energy that we have. And probably try to create a common world that has the same emotions, same kind of feelings that everybody has and maybe spread it out, find out what we should do with our life and something like that.
Ok yeah, that sounds really nice! And do you guys have certain plans to accomplish that?
Yeah! The least, but the most important thing that we can do is create music that moves us, but moves you guys as well. And maybe try to communicate, spread it out throughout the world. Because the first time we ever listened to music it was so… it crosses the borders so easily. It didn’t matter if we were wolves, it didn’t matter if somebody was from Japan or America or Europe. But you know, music is always the common language that everybody has. So we would love to accomplish our mission by doing that: making music that crosses the borders so easily.
And we know that you’re already really popular in Japan. Are there any plans to get that message spread across the rest of the world?
Yes! Like even, having the chance to take part of this festival, it’s a really heavy metal festival. And to tell you the truth, our music style is not that, you know… heavy metal. But we love the music that is going on in Finland and all over the world and… Oh! Should we move?!
(Here we got interrupted by a (bad) driver who was almost backing up into us if we didn’t move…)
Yeah, where was I?
We were talking about concrete plans to go more internationally…
Yes, taking part of this festival is a really big opportunity for us. And we’ll probably continue doing that kind of stuff. It doesn’t matter if we’re really doing good in Japan. We need to spread it out, come a lot in Europe and all over the world. And it’s fun doing that, meeting new people, meeting the new audiences… Yeah, get the chance to know each other, get the chance to spread our music and… I think that’s the least, but the most basic and proper way to spread your own music.
Yeah, we hope to help you a little bit with that. I’m from Belgium… do you know Belgium?
Yeah! We actually toured in Belgium last year.
Any plans to return there?
Yes of course, it was a beautiful place too. What’s the capital of Belgium again?
Oh yes, that’s a really beautiful place. We went there with Rise Against (but on their Belgian stop in 2015, they shared the stage with Lagwagon instead since Rise Against was playing on Rock Werchter that day, FYI), the band from America. Yeah, it was a great moment over there.
That’s nice. Now, what are your expectations of Tuska and your concert/gig here?
Checking out the headliners, the people that are in this festival. We were really amazed that “oh, so we’re going to take part in this festival?”, you know? It’s heavy, it’s dark, but we love the music that is going on. We recognize that this is one of the most heaviest, greatest heavy metal festivals in Europe. So yeah, we’re really looking forward to, not only play, but even just hang out with audiences.
What can we expect from your performance later today?
It’s our first time playing in Finland, you know? And it’s a great thing that the first time is in the Tuska festival, taking part. So we’re really excited and we definitely want the audience to know how excited we are. And the energy that we’re going to put into it, so yeah, I hope the audience won’t miss a moment.
Well, we’re really looking forward to it. We didn’t know you guys before, checked you out and really got into your music. It’s a nice blend of a bit of everything. We noticed online that it seems like you all have a different style of music you like. Is it actually like that or does everyone like a bit of everything?
Yes, each wolf likes different kinds of genres of music. Me myself, I was really into the alternative kind of stuff in the nineties, like The Smashing Pumpkins, Nirvana,… Other members, like the bass is really into punk rock, our drums love a lot of metal, heavy metal, heavy stuff,… And that’s probably what happens when we make our music, it’s all combined, different kinds of genres. But yeah, trying to make a genuine kind of music for Man With A Mission, that’s probably the key to what we’re making.
You just mentioned you’re a fan of the alternative music of the nineties. I noticed while digging into your music that you have at least 2 covers of Nirvana. Why Nirvana?
The time we covered that song, we were really aware of how sacred that band is to a lot of people. But one day we noticed that a DJ was kind of mixing Nirvana with Metallica or things like that, he was doing a mash-up kind of thing. And we noticed that the audiences didn’t even notice the band, Nirvana, but that song. It was so powerful, it was really catchy, even to the younger audiences. We suddenly thought that maybe arranging that thing with a club kind of touch, but at the same time rock might have a really good catch to the audience introduce ourselves, to what we do. I hope it turned out well.
Well, I’m a really big Nirvana fan myself and when I was checking out your music, suddenly Lithium came up. And I really enjoyed it, it was a nice surprise.
Well, thank you very much!
With everything we talked about now, I’m wondering: you were frozen so long and ok, you listened to music in the mean time. But when you came back into the world what was your impression? A lot changed probably…
Even now these days, the world is really busy. And people, including ourselves, don’t have much time to think about decent things, like what we really want to do. It’s so busy, it’s so full of information today, you can pick anything from the internet. But I’m not really sure if everybody really knows if that information is what you really want, you know? We have a lot of choices, but we kind of lost what we really want to do. But we still believe in the beauty of what the world has and yeah, part of the music. Even listening to music suddenly makes you notice what was good for you. That’s why we choose to stick it in the band and make music.
That sounds like a nice positive message! Now, you have a lot of human fans we know of, do you also have non-human fans out there?
Besides humans? Well, we haven’t heard of them! (laughs a lot) Well yeah, we hope that animals like our music too!
Well, to conclude our talk, I like to give you the last word. Is there anything you wanna tell our readers?
Yes, it’s probably the first contact for everybody. It’s an honor for us to play in Finland, and we got to take part in one of the greatest festivals in the whole wide world. So, I’d really love to come back again. And please, take your time to dig into our music. We’re ready, we’re always there at the stage. So come anytime you want and have fun with us! Thank you very much!
And with that we ended our little conversation with a few pics with us and of the whole group that came out for a short moment. When we said bye to the guys and their tour promoter we received a copy of their latest CD (The World’s On Fire)! Happy as we are with this gift, you can expect a review of their brand new creation on our site soon…