The reggae-punk band SiM recently surprised the world by unveiling its song “The Rumbling”. Not only was this song accommodated to the popular anime “Attack on Titan Final Season Part 2” (Shingeki no Kyojin), but it turned out to be one of the heaviest songs we’ve heard from the series!
We at JROCK NEWS wanted to find out more about the process of creating The Rumbling, so what better way than to ask the brains behind this amazing piece!
Congratulations on 30 million views on The Rumbling in just three weeks! That’s beyond amazing! Tell us how you feel, and did you expect such a big reception?
MAH: I had imagined it to some extent, but I didn’t expect it to be this fast, so to be honest, I’m surprised to the point of being scared.
We know you consciously composed The Rumbling to be faithful to the anime while still retaining the originality of SiM. What was the biggest hurdle?
MAH: The part that took the most trial and error was the part that I had to fit into 90 seconds.
The most difficult part was trying to fit the fear of the Titans, their size, and Eren’s [the protagonist] emotional ups and downs into 90 seconds.
So I had to work out the details while setting the BPM to fit the song and its structure that I had imagined in the end.
That was the hardest part.
Considering the global appeal of Attack on Titan, what was the thought process and ideas when coming up with the lyrics?
MAH: I’m only one reader, so I honestly don’t know what the right answer is, but I wrote it from the standpoint of a reader, thinking, “If Eren is really thinking this way, I’ll be saved”, without knowing whether the characters are actually telling the truth or not.
There is now a surge of people doing music covers of The Rumbling on YouTube from all around the world. Have you seen any of them? What was your impression?
MAH: I could tell that everyone was really trying to sing and play.
That’s how much everyone loves Attack on Titan, and it made me realize once again that Attack on Titan is an amazing work.
For example, if it were any other work, they probably wouldn’t have put so much thought into covering it, so I could feel through their cover videos that the story and development of the work is so emotionally moving.
I think I’ve written a good song, and it’s very interesting to watch.
SHOW-HATE: When I see covers by people from overseas, I feel that they are selfish in a good way, or “I play it because I want to play it this way”, and I feel that this is a culture where such things are rooted as a matter of course, which I think is good.
SIN: I’m very happy because it’s the first time we’ve been covered by so many people from overseas.
At the time of this interview today, the full version hasn’t been released yet, so they don’t know the real tuning, and they’re covering it, so I hope they’ll be surprised when the full version comes out.
GODRi: The original parts, of course, but also the covers that we don’t play, such as piano, classical guitar, EDM arrangements, etc., are interesting, and there are many new discoveries.
In conjunction with The Rumbling, you’re now a part of the label Pony Canyon. What are some of the changes or differences that we can expect moving forward?
MAH: I think it’s thanks to Pony Canyon that we’ve been able to be involved with such a big work like Attack on Titan. We can only do what we can do by creating music and performing hard, so I’m looking forward to the part where we can gain something together that we can’t do by ourselves and that is even bigger than that.
In terms of the music industry, what do you personally feel about the recent global growth in anime? How do you think it has or will affect musicians in Japan?
MAH: We ourselves can sing the theme songs of the anime we grew up with, and I think they have the power to be imprinted in our DNA. So, if The Rumbling is still being sung 10 or 20 years from now, I think that would be great.
Also, from a Japanese artist’s point of view, I knew that artists who wrote theme songs for anime are very popular overseas, as many of the bands I know around us are.
However, I never imagined that we would become like that, so I’m happy.
I can’t wait to go overseas and perform live.
Even to this day, SiM’s sound remains unique and keeps pushing out a new refreshing take on “reggae-punk”. What is your approach when making music to keep things fresh, to avoid producing songs that sound the same?
MAH: I’m a person who gets bored easily and can’t keep doing one thing at a time, so I tend to want to change the arrangement between the first and second chorus.
It’s not something I’m conscious of, but rather something I change naturally. I think I naturally think like this: “I’ve written this kind of song, so let’s make it completely different next time”.
Please leave a message to your overseas audience!
MAH: It’s my life’s dream to attend Glastonbury Festival, so I hope it will come true someday, and I’m doing a cover of the Beatles’ “Come Together”, so I’d like people in England to listen to it.
SHOW-HATE: The only place I’ve always wanted to go is London, and I’ve been so influenced by British music that I’d like to go there to play live and experience the British culture and music scene.
If we ever get to go there ourselves as a band, we’d love to have people come to our live.
SIN: It’s one of my dreams to perform in the UK, so once the situation with COVID-19 settles down, I’d like to go and perform there as soon as possible.
GODRi: In my mind, England has an image of punk, and I’m a punk person, so I’d like to go there and feel the atmosphere firsthand at live shows, and then take what I’ve absorbed back home and apply it to our next work.
As long-time fans of both SiM and Attack on Titan ourselves, we’re so happy to be able to see these two forces clash and see it create something this epic! But of course, our biggest thanks to SiM for allowing us to intrude to speak about their latest work.