Who were the first bands you ever loved?
“I was definitely influenced by all the music that was going on in the ’90s – like, alternative-style rock. Smashing Pumpkins, Dinosaur, Jr., Sonic Youth, and even some of the guys in the UK: Stone Roses are one of my favourites. Those guitar-rock bands are my favourites.”
And are they still your favourites now?
“I listen to them as well now, but I also listen to a mixture of stuff. I love Rage Against The Machine, and things like that. I listen to almost everything, and what’s going on right now is really cool. I love Imagine Dragons, too. They’re a good band.”
MAN WITH A MISSION take influence from a lot of different bands…
“Everybody has different taste. I was really into alternative rock, but the bass player – who is another songwriter, too – is definitely really touched by the melodic punk movement that was going on in the ’90s: blink-182, Bad Religion, stuff like that.”
When did you realise that you wanted to talk about wider-world issues in your music?
“Probably one of the reasons was definitely that we were worried about what we were doing in those early days. Though we’re half-human and half-wolf, we're always about wondering what’s going on in the world. And also what we can do with the world. I guess that’s probably the main part of what our lyrics are trying to say: figuring out what we are, figuring out what we wanna do, and figuring out if there is a right way to achieve it. That’s definitely the main message of all our songs.”
Was there any kind of singular theme when it came to Chasing The Horizon?
“That album really amazed me, because it was made spontaneously. We were just focusing on: ‘What kind of rock music do we want to make in 2018?’ And we’re big fans of rock music, but at the same time – it’s sad to say – we kind of sensed that rock as a genre is not as vital as what we were listening to in the ’90s. So we had a sense of focusing on, ‘What should we do with our rock music?’ We definitely wanted to make it sound rock, but not dated, but at the same time not something that is totally new. We always want to focus on heritage – that’s a really important thing about rock music, to me. But Chasing The Horizon is just focusing on rock music, and what we want to do now, today.”
Do you believe that there will be a time when rock becomes the biggest genre in the world again?
“Well, looking at history, it’s always going in waves. Right now hip-hop is way over rock music right now, but that’s not sad, to me. It’s natural. It’s not because the bands right now suck or anything – it’s like people just listen to certain genres and don’t worry about it. But, at the same time, we still believe that even in hip-hop music, or EDM, or club music, you can still hear an essence of rock music. So I believe that people these days still love something about rock music, and we’re not worried about rock disappearing from this world or anything.”
With artists more commonly releasing mixtapes and EPs through Spotify, has that played a part in rock's supposed 'decline'?
“Maybe, yeah. Now these days it’s easy to pick up one song and you hear it, and it’s always on YouTube and Spotify – everywhere, right? So maybe that’s one of the reasons bands are like, ‘Rock music is decreasing a little bit.’ But that’s that. If I were a consumer, I’d pick that too! It’s so easy.”