Attack on Titan is coming to an end with the release of its Final Season Part 2 featuring the hard-hitting track ‘The Rumbling’ by Japanese alternative metal band SiM for its opening.
SiM, which stands for Silence iz Mine was first founded in 2004, and consists of MAH (Manabu Taniguchi) on vocals, SHOW-HATE (Shouhei Iida) on guitar, SiN (Shinya Shinohara) on bass, and GODRi (Yuya Taniguchi) on Drums. Aside from Attack on Titan, the band has created songs for the anime Rage of Bahamut and the video game Yakuza Kiwami 2.
We got a chance to ask them some questions about the Attack on Titan opening theme and their thoughts on Attack on Titan as a whole. We first asked questions about the creation of ‘The Rumbling’ itself. Here’s what they said:
When you were crafting the song for the opening, was there anything about the anime/manga that you drew from, and inspired you?
MAH: I tried not to break the style of the previous opening songs, but I took the approach of “If I’m going to write “Shingeki no Kyojin” like SiM”. In terms of the lyrics, I read the manga many times and imagined the emotions of the characters behind the various lines and scenes.
How did the discussion go for the final ending? Was it always planned to be heavy metal since the music for Part 1 was really different?
MAH: I don’t know what you mean by heavy metal, but I think heavy metal in our mind is Metallica and Megadeth, so we don’t consider ourselves heavy metal. However, if you are referring to music like Korn, Limp Bizkit, Rage Against the Machine, and Slipknot as heavy metal, then you might be right since we started our band after listening to these bands.
In general, the openings for The Final Season have a very different feel to Seasons 1-3. What do you think of how ‘The Rumbling’ works with the tone of Part 2?
MAH: Not because it’s the final season, but because the opening music so far has been from the human perspective, and with Linked Horizon’s music, I felt the image of the Survey Corps and the army, and with YOSHIKI’s and Shinsei Kamattechan’s music, I felt it represented one of the emotions within humans. If we were going to create a song, we thought we would write a song that focused on the roughness, size, and fear of the Titans.
How involved were the staff from MAPPA/Pony Canyon during your music process? Were there guidelines to follow or were you given free creativity to do whatever?
MAH: Basically, I was given free rein to do whatever I wanted to do, although I did have to confirm that there was a line that I shouldn’t cross. I also wrote the lyrics based on my impressions of the manga and discussed with the directors whether it was okay to include these words. I consulted with the director and others about the lyrics.
What came first, the arrangement or the lyrics?
MAH: The lyrics, I guess. Of course, it starts with the song, but the lyrics came first, and then I had to worry about how to arrange it. So the lyrics came first.
You recently changed labels from Universal Music Japan to Pony Canyon, how have you found the transition? Has it affected the band or the creative process in any way?
MAH: It’s been a short time since we moved, but I feel that the response to “Attack on Titan” alone has been amazing. Nothing has changed musically, but I think the fact that so many people are listening to SiM is thanks to the move.
Next, we asked a few questions about the band member’s personal history with the Attack On Titan Series and how it influenced the compositing of the song.
In general, how does it feel knowing that a series as popular and long-running as AOT will come to an end using your song? It’s quite an accomplishment.
MAH: Looking at the response from the listeners, we’ve gotten the response that “it’s appropriate for the final”, so I feel a sense of accomplishment that we’ve done a good job, or that I’ve written a good song.
Continuing from this, do you have a favorite character from the anime/manga. If so, did their personality or feelings during the anime play a part in arranging the song?
MAH: Armin, I guess. When Armin almost died, that was the moment I was most like, “No! I hate it! I thought.
SHOW-HATE: I like Jean. Because Jean was there, he and Eren engaged in friendly competition, and I think he changed his mind and became a good stimulus, so I liked that hot feeling.
SIN: Levi. He’s so strong that it feels good to watch.
GODRi: Overall, I’d say Reiner. He’s kind and dependable, and I’d like to be like him.
The lyrics for The Rumbling definitely sound like they’re written by Eren, if you could write a song from the perspective of other characters who would you want to do it for?
MAH: Mikasa, I guess. Or maybe Reiner?
SHOW-HATE: Zeke would be interesting, though.
Finally, asked them a quick question about the difference between writing for video games and writing for anime and which they prefer.
Previously, your music was also featured in Yakuza Kiwami 2. Would you prefer doing music for games or anime?
MAH: I’m very much a gamer, but if I were to add music, it would be for anime. Instrumental music is more suitable for games, but I think anime is more suitable for music with songs that can make a strong impression and change the atmosphere or make it more exciting.
I’d like to do game music as well, but I think anime is a better match in that respect. I would like to do game music as well, but I think anime is a better match in that respect. “Ryu ga Gotoku” is a special work, so I think it was a good match.
It’s interesting to hear the band’s perspective on Attack on Titan, just as it reaches the in-universe Rumbling as well. Attack on Titan has been blessed with some of the best anime tracks in the medium and SiM’s ‘The Rumbling’ looks like it’ll end the series on a colossally high note.
Attack on Titan: The Final Season Part 2 is currently airing in Southeast Asia on Netflix. It will be the finale of the series that first began airing in 2013. If you wish to hear more from SiM, check out their music on Spotify.