SiM (Silence iz Mine) is a Japanese band that has recently become a worldwide known name, thanks to their latest song “The Rumbling” which serves as the 7th Attack on Titan opening theme. Anime Corner got an exclusive opportunity to interview the band members and ask them about “The Rumbling”, their creative process, inspirations, and also what series they’d like to do theme songs for in the future and who their favorite Attack on Titan characters are – among other things.
SiM (Silence iz Mine) is a self-described reggae-punk band formed in Shonan, Kanagawa on March 11, 2004. The members include:
- MAH (マー), vocalist
- SHOW-HATE (ショウヘイト), guitarist
- SIN (シン), bassist
- GODRi (ゴリ), drummer
Q: Your newest single “The Rumbling” came out on February 7. The song was used as the latest Attack on Titan opening and manages to capture the mood of the series – what did you intend to convey with the song?
MAH: This work has fans all over the world, and I’m sure everyone has their own feelings about each of the previous openings, so we decided to create a song that would be unique to SiM while keeping our image intact.
Q: Apart from the source material, was there anything specific that you used as an inspiration for “The Rumbling”? What usually inspires you when making music?
MAH: Korn’s album “Untouchables”. I used the atmosphere of that album as an inspiration.
SHOW-HATE: The guitars before the breakdown are inspired by Korn’s “Here To Stay”, or rather, I put them in as a sign of respect, so I hope you’ll listen to that part of the song.
I also often get inspiration from the lyrics I see; when I read MAH’s lyrics, I think about it in my own style or something like that. And then, often I look at the song then start visualizing it. When I’m creating a song from scratch, I may have often written lyrics when I’m having a bad day, when I’m feeling down, or when something bad happens,
MAH: It’s true that I don’t tend to write music when I’m having fun. When I’m happy, I enjoy being with people more than making music. Our songs are not really about expressing joy.
Q: Is your process any different when you are writing and composing music for anime as opposed to creating your regular music? If so, what factors would you say are different?
MAH: During “normal” production, if I think it’s good, I’ll give it the green light, or I’ll say “go”. But, [during anime theme song production] since there are already fans of the work, I prioritize what they’ll think when they hear it – that’s the difference between the two. But both of these are fun to work on.
Q: Were you Attack on Titan fans before “The Rumbling”?
MAH: I’ve read the manga.
SHOW-HATE: I originally watched the anime and later read the manga.
SIN: I watched the anime and read the manga as well.
GODRi: Of course, I heard about the work, but I had not read the manga or watched the anime. However, when we received the opportunity to make the theme song, I watched the anime for the first time and was shocked by how insanely good it was… so good that I asked myself “why haven’t I watched this before…”. I read the manga all the way through, and I think it became my favorite work of all time.
Q: Was it difficult to create a song aimed at adult Eren? Did you use the manga or previous anime seasons for lyrics and music references?
MAH: I didn’t write this song specifically about adult Eren, but I also don’t know if that interpretation is wrong. I can’t narrow it down to one answer, but it wasn’t difficult to think about [the lyrics of the song] and relatively, the words came out so smoothly that I was able to empathize with him. I tried not to break the style of the previous opening songs, while also maintaining SiM’s identity. Rather I asked myself, “What would happen if we put the elements of Attack on Titan into SiM? That’s how I came up with this song.
Q: Who is your favorite character in Attack on Titan?
MAH: Armin, I guess. The part where Armin almost dies was a very “No! Don’t!” moment.
SHOW-HATE: I like Jean. Because Jean was there, he and Eren were able to have a friendly rivalry. He influenced him and became a good motivator for Eren. I liked that intense feeling.
SIN: Levi. He’s so strong and watching him feels awesome.
GODRi: Overall, I’d say Reiner. He’s kind and dependable, and I’d like to be like him.
Q: Can you share some of the challenges that you have encountered while creating the song? What did you enjoy most while working on this project?
MAH: Strings were an instrument that I had never used before, so I was a little worried about how it would turn out in live recording since the demo sounded like a hammer-on. But, when I heard the actual recording, I was really impressed with how cool it turned out. That process [something turning out better than expected] was especially fun.
Q: Did you expect the song to be this popular all over the world? How did it feel to see the song is topping charts well before getting a full version release?
MAH: I still can’t believe it because I didn’t expect it to be this high at all. I’m looking forward to seeing how people react when they hear the full version.
Q: The opening complements the ending theme, even though the two sound quite differently. Did you communicate with Ai Higuchi while creating the songs?
MAH: We didn’t communicate at all, so of course, we didn’t know what the songs were about. We were very surprised to find out that the songs were linked to each other in a way that we never imagined.
Q: How did you feel when you saw the final product – the finished opening sequence? Did Kojima-san manage to portray the essence of your music with it?
MAH: It exceeded my expectations.
SHOW-HATE: It was great.
Q: What is your favorite past Attack on Titan opening?
MAH: “Shinzo wo Sasageyo” by Linked Horizon. There was a time when I couldn’t get “Sasageyo!” out of my head.
SHOW-HATE: “Boku no Senso” by Shinsei Kamattechan. I thought it was very well linked to the story after it changed the focus to people versus people fight.
SIN: Also “Boku no Senso” by Kamattechan.
GODRi: Same – “Boku no Senso” by Kamattechan.
Q: You previously also made theme songs for Shingeki no Bahamut: Genesis and Shingeki no Bahamut: Virgin Soul anime adaptations. Is there any anime or manga for which you’d like to make a theme song in the future?
MAH: The song “YO HO” on our latest album, which was released in 2020, was inspired by One Piece, so I’d like people to listen to it. I’d also like to create a song for Chainsaw Man. And if it ever gets an anime, I’d like to perform a theme song for Kaiju No. 8, as I read a lot of manga.
SHOW-HATE: I’d love to do Chainsaw Man.
SIN: I also want to do Chainsaw Man.
GODRi: I’d love to do something like SLAM DUNK. I can’t even imagine how great that would be.
Q: 2022 is already shaping up to be a big year for SiM. Do you have anything you can share about your plans for the rest of the year?
MAH: We’re thinking of releasing a new album with this song on it.
Q: To conclude, is there a message you would like to send to your overseas fans?
MAH: The full-size version is perfect for showcasing the parts that we couldn’t fully express in the TV version, so I hope you can enjoy listening to it. If SiM comes to your area, please come and see us live. I hope more people will continue to listen to our music.
What’s next for SiM?
SiM’s “The Rumbling” took the international charts by storm, with many fans praising it as an opening song truly worthy of Attack on Titan anime. The TV Size version of the song has been played over 27.5 million times on Spotify and over 35 million times on YouTube. The full version has been out since February 7 and the music video should follow soon. While we wait for that and other upcoming projects from SiM, we can enjoy the recently revealed teaser: