Watch with me: MWAM, The Wolves of Japanese Rock
Kamryn Schnieder ~ Copy Editor
This week, instead of talking about an airing or noteworthy show, I want to talk about the band Man With A Mission. They are a Japanese Rock band that has dabbled in creating Anime soundtracks as well as other projects. Their sound has a pretty wide range, but they could be described as something akin to Fall Out Boy, and many of their songs are in English, or a blend of English and Japanese.
Formed in 2010, the band has been going strong with consistent members. Tokyo Tanaka, Jean-Ken Johnny, Kamikaze Boy, DJ, Santa Monica, and Spear Rib make up the band. They have been on tour in Japan, the States, Korea, the UK, and other countries and have performed with the likes of Jimmy Eat World and have even had Patrick Stump of Fall Out Boy work with them on the song “Dead End Tokyo.” They had been planning on going on a 10-year anniversary tour this year but due to Corona, they have canceled it until further notice. They have released three anniversary albums with many of their famous singles and covers from earlier in their career, however.
Something stand-out that MWAM does is anytime they perform (live or in music videos) or appear on television and other videos, they are always wearing wolf masks. These wolf masks are all different and unique to each band member. The band even has a backstory they created for the appearance they work so hard to preserve. For them, it is not a mask, but their actual bodies. They were supposed ultimate life-forms created from the hybridization of man and wolf by Jimi Hendrix, then frozen in Antarctica before emerging in the world of Japanese music.
While their work is not limited to Anime, they are known well for their works within that world. These include: “Database,” Log Horizon; “Seven Deadly Sins,” Seven Deadly Sins; “My Hero,” Inuyashiki; “Raise Your Flag,” Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans; “Winding Road,” Golden Kamuy; “Dark Crow,” Vinland Saga.
They have also dabbled in cover songs with covers of Nirvana’s “Lithium” and “Smells Like Teen Spirit” for a Japanese project tribute for the Nevermind album.
If you want to get a start in exploring Japanese Rock music but are not sure where to start, MWAM may be a good choice. It is a very western sounding band, inspired by the likes of Fall Out Boy, Zebra Head, The Offspring, etc. and many of their songs are at least partially, if not entirely, in English. They span a wide variety of genres within rock as well so they will probably have at least one song you’ll enjoy.
Check them out on their YouTube channel, https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCy21ToKvBD45wUPaSLkr5NQ, or their official website (it is in English, a little) at https://www.mwamjapan.info.