Interview with Jean-Ken Johnny from MAN WITH A MISSION

interview - 16.06.2017 10:10

Jean-Ken Johnny speaks about MAN WITH A MISSION's latest single and upcoming Europe tour.

Very soon, wolf-men MAN WITH A MISSION will embark on a Europe tour to promote their latest single, Dead End in Tokyo. JaME catches frontman Jean-Ken Johnny for an interview about the single and tour.

You collaborated with Fall Out Boy's Patrick Stump for your latest single Dead End in Tokyo. How did this collaboration come about? How was working with Patrick Stump like?

Jean-Ken Johnny: It was really great. Working with him was a very eye-opening experience for us because the way he directed us to create lyrics was quite unique. With our international label we’ve been discussing what kind of artists or whom we would want to collaborate with and he was on that list.

What was the inspiration behind the lyrics of Dead End in Tokyo?

Jean-Ken Johnny: The whole story was lined up for a movie in Japan. The movie was about a man working in one of the most glamorous and dangerous cities in Tokyo where you can see the people come in to with all of their dreams but end up losing their faith as they get weary and defeated in some way.

Hey Now, the second track on Dead End in Tokyo, was produced by BOOM BOOM SATELLITES' Masayuki Nakano. Why did you choose to work with Masayuki Nakano on this song?

Jean-Ken Johnny: The band is one of my most favourite artists in Japan. Their music is aggressive, experimental, emotional and so beautiful. I believe that they are one of the most praised bands not only in Japan but in Europe and overseas for their style. The bottom line is I’m just a huge fan of them and I believed that working with him would be a new inspiration for us too.

The third track on Dead End in Tokyo is titled Brave It Out. Why do you think the message of this song is important?

Jean-Ken Johnny: This song was for a Japanese rugby team and it’s all about having the courage and braving it out yourself. Not only in sports but that also is a key to carry on in many ways.

The artwork for your releases usually feature photos or illustrations of yourselves, who are superhuman wolves. However, we see a lone, ordinary wolf in addition to your own photos on the artwork for the digital release of Dead End in Tokyo. What is the story behind this addition?

Jean-Ken Johnny: Just for fun, I guess. And it’s probably a lot easier for people to know what we are. Somebody mistook us for a bear once.

You'll be embarking on your Europe tour very soon. Compared to the previous time you toured Europe and this upcoming tour, has there been any change in your feelings and the way you approach overseas live performances?

Jean-Ken Johnny: Every time we come to Europe it’s always a blast, and the more we come the more we get excited to see the crowd gathering more and noticing us. It hasn’t changed from the beginning; we’re always there to show what we got and enjoy what you guys got.

You've held shows in London for the past two years, and you're returning again for a show at The Underworld Camden on June 22nd. What is it about London that makes you want to perform there again?

Jean-Ken Johnny: The music and history of the UK itself is definitely a big piece of my musical influences. There are so many bands that I love and admire that started their career there. The atmosphere of the city always reminds me of that too and it’s just great to breathe in that air.

Dream State has been announced as the opening act for your London show. Why do you think they make a great opening act for your show?

Jean-Ken Johnny: I haven’t heard about the story behind it but it’s so great to have them with us. I checked out their music and it’s so cool and I believe it absolutely has a great affinity with our band. Thank you so much for joining us!

What can fans expect from your London show?

Jean-Ken Johnny: More than you can expect. Can’t wait to see you all.

After the UK, you'll continue your Europe tour with a show in Germany and a show in France. Have you noticed any difference in the way your fans from these three countries react to your music?

Jean-Ken Johnny: Every time we come, they get greater and greater. I’m looking forward to see more of that this time, so come and get us.

Are you working on any new material right now?

Jean-Ken Johnny: Yes. A lot of new songs are in the making right now. We ourselves are really excited for that to come out.

What’s your next mission?

Jean-Ken Johnny: Taking part in bigger festivals around the world, releasing more items, performing a lot more in other countries, making more music that not only you but we get excited about … The truth is, there is no next mission because it’s always been and always will be a long winding road, and we’re enjoying, sometimes struggling but believing in it at the same time, so it’s still going on.

To conclude our interview, please leave a message for JaME readers.

Jean-Ken Johnny: Readers of JaME, thank you all for checking us out and thank you all for loving music. We can’t wait to see you guys! See you all soon! Bow wow.

JaME would like to thank Jean-Ken Johnny and The Noise Cartel for this interview opportunity.

The music video for Dead End in Tokyo can be watched below:

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