At Japan Expo in Paris last year, MAN WITH A MISSION frontman Jean-Ken Johnny spoke to JaME about the band’s latest releases, anime and more.
Can you introduce the group to people who don't know you?
Jean-Ken Johnny: Hello everybody, this is Jean-Ken Johnny from MAN WITH A MISSION speaking and we are a five-member wolf band that come from Japan. It's nice to meet you.
Can you tell us about your experiences at Japan Expo. What do you expect from this event?
Jean-Ken Johnny: This is our second time taking part in this really great festival. There are a lot of things happening at this festival because a lot of people come here. One of the funniest things I saw was one kid cosplaying in a costume, but the costume was just cardboard. He was just wearing a cardboard, that's it. Like Gundam. It was just a box. That was so cool. I mean, nobody could ever imagine that's a Gundam. That was really cool. We don't expect anything. I mean, you guys already know what to do about Japanese animation culture, you guys are enjoying it a lot, you even make fun of it sometimes and it’s so great. I mean, we are not actually Japanese because we are wolves, but asking about people coming from Japan and seeing what is happening right here is so crazy. It's really great.
You released an album titled The World’s On Fire in February. Can you talk about it?
Jean-Ken Johnny: The World's On Fire is our fourth full album. There are thirteen songs included in there and nine songs were written with a lot of people overseas. For example, Don Gilmore, who produced Linkin Park and Avril Lavigne, Shaun Lopez, Zebrahead of course, a lot of people from overseas and it was a really challenging album. It was like trying to spread our music throughout the world. They really helped us a lot, like music-wise, lyric-wise and it was a really great experience. We're really proud of what we made and it's a great album.
If you had to choose just one song to introduce MAN WITH A MISSION to people who don't know you yet, which would it be?
Jean-Ken Johnny: I guess we really would be represented by some of the songs like FLY AGAIN. We are a mixture rock band, it's really aggressive, sometimes smooth but mainly we do a lot of rock mixture kind of stuff. FLY AGAIN might be a good guess for listening.
Your songs Raise Your Flag and Seven Deadly Sins have been used as opening themes for anime. What anime do you recommend?
Jean-Ken Johnny: I already recommended one for another media, so I'll probably recommend a different one. Yeah, animation. You guys already know "Naruto" and "One Piece", right?
Jean-Ken Johnny: I mean, "Naruto" is a really good animation and I'm really proud that it's spreading all over the world. I already said there's "Akira", an animation that was made by Katsuhiro Otomo and "Ghost in the Shell", which is called "Kokaku Kitodai" in Japan. But all the "Final Fantasy" kind of thing that is made in Japan is really great and I'm sure you guys already know it but please dig in more to find many great stories.
You released a new live DVD titled Wolf Complete Works IV on July 7th. Can you tell us more about it?
Jean-Ken Johnny: The DVD is mostly about the show that we did in Japan. It was a huge venue, about thirty thousand people for two days in a row. We played with Zebrahead and it was really great. I'm sure you guys know Zebrahead but they really rock and are really cool, funny guys and they can make the entire really huge stage into a live house you know, a really relative kind of space (to share our music). It was really great, those two days. Besides that, the DVD is mainly about the documentary film of what we did in the Europe tour that we did last year. We toured with Rise Against and of course Zebrahead for about two months or something like that. And to tell the truth, the DVD is really real. I mean, it's a documentary. First of all, we haven't visited Europe that much—we only came here for about two or three times. At first the audience would just look at us and say "OK, I kind of like these boys" but during the tour they actually came near to us. They actually reacted more to us. The documentary film about that is really real and it makes you to get to know what the band is actually doing in their events. I think that's pretty cool for a DVD that a band releases.
What have you been doing during your free time at Japan Expo and recently?
Jean-Ken Johnny: We haven't actually had a chance to look around, so probably today, yeah. Is there anywhere you recommend that maybe I should go?
Hmm, not sure. Did you know LadyBeard came for Japan Expo yesterday? But I missed it.
Jean-Ken Johnny: Uh huh, want me to go there?
Yes. Any last message for JaME readers?
Jean-Ken Johnny: People who are checking JaME, this is MAN WITH A MISSION. It's great to be back in France and we're really proud of and thankful for all of you guys for checking us out and listening to our music. We haven't had the chance to visit France many times, but hopefully, well, definitely this year and next year we'll come a lot more, so have fun with us. Thank you very much, this was MAN WITH A MISSION.
JaME would like to thank MAN WITH A MISSION for this interview opportunity.
Interview with MAN WITH A MISSION
interview - 02.02.2017 19:01
Jean-Ken Johnny spoke with JaME about MAN WITH A MISSION's latest releases, anime and more.
© Sony Music Entertainment (Japan) Inc. All rights reserved.