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Attack on Titan The Final Season Opening Band SiM

by Kim Morrissy,

Straight from Shonan, Japan, the band SiM claimed the spotlight with the release of their Billboard chart-topping single "The Rumbling." The song introduced scores of anime fans to the band's unique sound of hardcore punk and nu-metal blended with what can only be described as diabolical roaring vocals of baton-wielding lead singer MAH. Joined by guitarist SHOW-HATE, bassist SIN, and drummer GODRi, Anime News Network spoke with the band about their newest song that's taking the anime world by storm.

“The Rumbling” conveys many different emotions. What kind of feelings do you associate with this song?

MAH: There is more than one, after all. It's like a roller coaster of songs. Anger, determination, hesitation, and many other emotions.

How did you react when you were first asked to perform a theme song for Attack on Titan? Do you think of Attack on Titan as a “hard rock” anime?

MAH: Yes. In my case, when I imagined Attack on Titan, I imagined the "thud" of the Titans. That's the first thing that comes to mind. That's why I always thought that heavy music would be a good fit. I thought that heavy, chaotic music would be a good fit, not fast or exhilarating music. When I was approached, I decided to write a song in SiM's own style without destroying the atmosphere of the work.

Is there anything you keep in mind when performing an anime theme song?

MAH: I always try to deepen my understanding of the work. If there is an original work, I think the most important thing is to read it thoroughly and understand it before writing. I created the song with respect and love for the work, so that the fans can understand that it was created by someone who really likes Attack on Titan.

Are there any parts in the opening theme animation that stand out to you?

MAH: First of all, in the first episode of this season, Zeke says from the beginning of the main story. "We've got to keep going. Right, Eren?"

I really want to thank the anime production team for starting the song after that. It's the best way to start a song! I was shaking because it was such a great way to start the song. In the opening video, there are two performances that I thought were truly divine. The first is the transition between Eren's past and present in the lyrics of "if I lose it all, lose it all, lose it all."

The second is the part in the A-melody, "I never wanted to grab a knife," where the hand holding the knife is drawn at the end of the song instead of directly holding the knife. I was really impressed by the way they were able to animate the song while picking up the lyrics.

SHOW-HATE: The first scene where the titans are walking and the earth is rumbling. The link with the sound was amazing, and when I saw it for the first time, I was really impressed by how it matched the image I had in my mind.

SIN: When I saw it for the first time, the scene where Eren and Reiner are facing off during the shouting part of the B melody gave me goosebumps. I thought it was a great match.

GODRi: This may sound geeky, but in the chorus, there is an opening image of a cannon being fired, and the sound of the snare is timed just right, as if the snare is the sound of the cannon. As a drummer, that gave me goosebumps. Since then, the snare sound in this song has sounded like a cannon.

What was your reaction when “The Rumbling” made it to the U.S. Billboard charts?

MAH: I don't know what to say... I don't think people in the U.S. understand this, but for us non-Americans, it's a dream come true to have it on the U.S. Billboard charts. It's a good song, and with the power of a series like Attack on Titan, I knew it would be listened to by a lot of people, but I never imagined that it would be listened to at the level of the U.S. Billboard charts, so I felt the size of the work once again, and at the same time, I was happy that people were listening to the song as a whole.

I don't think that the number of views of the opening video on YouTube is all because people like the music, but I think it includes the number of times people watch that wonderful animation. But I was really happy to know that there were that many people who simply appreciated the song on the Billboard charts.

Please tell us your thoughts on the newest Attack on Titan season.

MAH: To begin with, it was a story about humans versus Titans, a world far removed from reality, but it gradually turned into a battle between countries and ethnic groups, a theme that is easily linked to the real world. It's a season that makes you think about what is right or wrong depending on where you stand. The foolishness of humanity being hit back by the Titans, who were initially used as weapons, is also connected to the real world today.

Do you have a message for your overseas fans?

MAH: My wife is half-American and half-Japanese, and my uncle-in-law lives in Sacramento, so I would like to go to Sacramento to see him and have a live concert when COVID-19 settles down soon. So I hope this situation will settle down soon.

SHOW-HATE: The first time I went to the U.S. other than Hawaii was for KNOTFEST, and when I got there, I was like, "This is the place I saw on TV. I'd like to go back to the U.S. and visit places I've never been before, and I definitely want to do a live show there." Now that I've been able to go again, I hope I'll be able to go to many more places in the future, so please help me out.

SIN: I sometimes imagine playing "The Rumbling" at a big festival or in a live house in the U.S., and that alone is really exciting, so I can't wait to perform it live in the U.S. and let people hear it live.

GODRi: A lot of my friends' bands are touring in the U.S. and we haven't been able to do that yet, but we will definitely perform in the U.S. and deliver this song in our own way and at our own pace, so please look forward to it.

The full-length version of "The Rumbling" is streaming now. Fans can also check out a teaser for the band's music video here.

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