The band SiM debuted in 2004. In this period, they worked with different labels, such as Sony, Universal Music of Japan and currently Pony Canyon. Their style became known for the mix of punk and reggae. Their last released song was The Rumbling, open theme of Attack on Titan. If you’d like to know more about the group and their composition, check the interview in full!
Which of your songs would you indicate for people that are knowing your work at this moment?
MAH: I think “SAND CASTLE“, don’t you?
SHOW-HATE: I think “Smoke in the Sky” is the right song to get people to know SiM.
SIN: I want you to keep “KiLiNG ME” because it’s a popular song.
GODRi: I want people to listen to “Devil in Your Heart” first because it makes it easier for them to listen to our other songs.
Is there a song that each of you consider the most memorable in the discography of the band?
MAH: “FATHERS“. It was the first song I wrote for other people.
SHOW-HATE: The song is called “Vitamin“. We talked about “What kind of scenery do we see? This was the first song that we created in that way. This song became a turning point in our songwriting style. We started to look at the lyrics more, and to be more conscious of the pictures we were creating as images. This process came to life in the creation of “The Rumbling,” and I’m glad we did it that way. The song that started it all was “Vitamin”.
SIN: The song “Amy” made a strong impression on me because it was the first song to incorporate dubstep.
GODRi: I’d say “Murderer“. Before I first joined SiM, I was a support member at the time, and when we were going to play together as support, this was the first song we played together in the studio, and I felt comfortable with the way we played together, and I think the other members felt comfortable with it too, so I have strong feelings about this song.
MAH, do you consider that SiM went through big changes since 2004? If yes, comment on it.
MAH: If you can imagine the 17 years since we formed the band when I was in high school, getting married, and having children, you can see how much things have changed.
When have you decided to work with music and how did you choose the genre that you play now?
MAH: At first, when I was about 5 years old, I wanted to be like Eric Clapton, but then when I was 12 or 3 years old, I listened to Hi-STANDARD and was really influenced by punk, and the music I listened to the most was RANCID, which influenced me to listen to reggae and ska. I started going to live houses when I was about 15 years old, and since my hometown where SHOW-HATE and SIN grew up was a surfing mecca, reggae music was very familiar to me. There were a lot of reggae bands around us, so we naturally began to incorporate reggae into our music. The band was SiM. So it was natural for me to put reggae into punk music, because of my roots. At the time, there was the biggest reggae festival in Japan, and it was a genre that was really close to you, wasn’t it?
SHOW-HATE: I didn’t follow it at all, but I started taking piano lessons when I was in the second grade of elementary school, and then I started playing guitar when I was in the second grade of junior high school. Originally, I only listened to J-Pop, but when I entered high school, my friend recommended SLIPKNOT and I was shocked. I got into that genre from there. To be honest, I hadn’t listened to reggae before I joined SiM, and I thought it was difficult when I first came into contact with it, but once I got into the groove, I started to feel comfortable with it. The same goes for the punk genre, which was built up largely by joining SiM. Before that, I was only listening to heavier music.
SIN I started playing guitar when I was in the second year of junior high school because of Hi-STANDARD, and then I started playing bass in high school. At the same time, I started listening to Rage Against the Machine and RED HOT CHILLI PEPPERS, and I’m also influenced by Korn and Limp BIZKIT.
GODRi: I fell in love with folk songs when I was in the 6th grade of elementary school, and borrowed my father’s acoustic guitar to practice. When I was in the second year of junior high school, I formed a band with my friends and we asked, “Who will play what part? I just kind of went with it. I thought, “I’ll try playing the drums,” following the feeling I had at that time. I started to play drums, and copied a lot of J-Pop music that was popular at the time. The first band genre I fell in love with was ‘melodic punk’ (this genre may only be understood by Japanese people). I borrowed a Bob Marley album from one of my seniors who was in a band, who told me, “If you like punk, try listening to reggae,” and that’s when I started to like loud rock with reggae elements, like Insolence. After that, I thought, “I wish I could play in a band like this all the time. Later, I happened to see SiM live performance at a live house. At that time, SiM had more reggae elements than now, which matched the music I wanted to play at that time, so I thought, “I want to be in a band like this someday”. Later, I made a connection with the band members and actually joined the band.
If you weren’t musicians what would you work with?
MAH: I would be a professional wrestler. I love professional wrestling so much that I really wanted to be a professional wrestler when I was in junior high school.
SHOW-HATE: I’m a chef. I was originally torn between the paths of music and cooking.
SIN: I like clothes, so I guess I’m in the apparel industry.
GODRi: When I think about what I want to do outside of music now, I’d like to be an actor or voice actor. When I watch movies and anime, I think it’s really cool to act in something. When I watch “Attack on Titan”, I think that the voice actors are doing an amazing job. It’s so cool that they can act so well with just their voices. I think it’s really cool.
Do you have any hobbies nowadays?
MAH: Apex Legends. It’s a game.
SHOW-HATE: I only play Apex, too.
SIN: I also have COVID-19, so I tend to stay at home, so I recently bought a 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle, and the “Attack on Titan” one recently came out, so I’m working on that.
GODRi: Karaoke. I like to sing. I don’t get to go out with everyone anymore, but when COVID-19 settles down, I’d like to go out a lot again.
Can you tell us about your artistic names?
MAH: It’s a very orthodox Japanese nickname, so I guess it’s like calling Matthew “Matt” in other countries. Something like that.
SHOW-HATE: I was in a band with MAH before SiM, and we were just going around saying “SHOW-HATE” (instead of Shouhei, which is our original name), and when we made our website, we temporarily used that name. When the website was set up, I thought, “Oh, I’m SHOW-HATE,” and that’s how I came up with the name. Once I was asked by a foreigner, “SHOW-HATE? Ahahahaha!” I’m glad they remembered it.
SIN: People around me called me “SHIN,” so I took the “H” out of “SHIN” since it’s pretty common, and changed it to “SIN”.
GODRi: I was in a band when I was in high school, and there was a Japanese comedian named “Gori”, and the hairstyle I had at the time was similar to his hairstyle, so my friends in the band told me, “You have a hairstyle like Gori,” and I’ve been called “Gori” ever since. When I joined SiM, I changed my name from “GORI” to “GODRi” because I like GODZILLA, and I was forced to read it as “Gori”.
How did covid pandemic impact in the group routine? How have you been working since then?
MAH: We used to play more than 100 gigs a year, so we basically stayed together as a group all the time, but in the past two years, our gigs have been reduced to about 1/3 of that, so I feel like we have more conversations when we get together because we have fewer opportunities to see each other. I think the atmosphere has improved a lot. It’s not all bad, I think. But I still want to do a lot of live performances.
Is there any special memory about something that happened during a concert?
MAH: …… I broke my tooth on the microphone.
There was also an incident when SHOW-HATE was holding the guitar and spun around, and the sharp end of the guitar head got stuck in our manager’s head, causing him to bleed profusely.
Are you planning tours overseas for the future?
MAH: Of course, I’d like to go to various countries and perform live.
What are the expectations for this new phase with a different record company? Was there a specific motive for this change?
MAH: I think it’s thanks to Pony Canyon that we’ve been able to be involved with such a big work as “Attack on Titan”. We can only do what we can’t do on our own, which is to create music and perform live as hard as we can, so I’m hoping that we’ll be able to gain something even bigger than that together.
How does the process of a composition for an opening happen? Did you receive any orientation of the theme from the studio or Isayama?
MAH: First of all, I, a fan of the manga “Attack on Titan”, and SHOW-HATE, a fan of the anime ” Attack on Titan”, made a demo of about four songs, and then the anime production team listened to it and asked for opinions such as “I want it to be more devastating” or “I want this part to stay”. Before composing the song, I first asked the director, “What kind of feeling do you want?” etc. Then I added the lyrics based on my impressions of the manga, and asked, “Is it okay to include these words? I consulted with the directors about the lyrics and other aspects of the story.
The lyrics of The Rumbling seems to be told from one perspective. Is it possible to say that this would be Eren’s point of view?
MAH: It’s not just Eren’s point of view.
When I look at the comments that people write, I find that there are two kinds of misunderstandings: one is that the song is written from one person’s point of view all the way to the end, and the other is that the whole song is written at a certain moment, say, on a certain date and time. For example, the first line can be written from anyone’s point of view, and the next line can be written from another person’s point of view. In terms of time, the lyrics can be thought of as words that have been added little by little over the years. I think the most accurate way to think of it is that they are words that were gradually written from the start of the story. I think so.
Did one of the members of the band keep up with Shingeki (Attack on Titan) before the request for the song?
MAH: I had 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 knew about the work, but I hadn’t read the manga or the anime to begin with, but when I got the call about this theme song, I watched the anime for the first time and was struck by how “insanely good it is… why haven’t I seen it before…”. I was so impressed. After that, I read the manga until the end, and I think it became my favorite work of all time.
Leave a message for your Brazilian fans!
MAH: I’ve been getting comments from people in Brazil that they like SiM for a long time, so when we released “EXiSTENCE”, a song from “Rage of Bahamut”, someone sent me a message saying “I made a tattoo of the lyrics! I hope he’s listening to “The Rumbling”. lol I’d like to go to live sometime.
SHOW-HATE: People in Brazil have been asking me to come to Brazil for a long time, too! I’ve never been to Brazil before, but now that I’ve released “The Rumbling” and a lot of people are listening to it, I feel like my voice is spreading even more, so I’m hoping to go as soon as possible, despite the situation with COVID-19, so please look forward to it.
SIN: I’ve never been to Brazil, so I’d like to go there and perform live.
GODRi: Personally, I feel that people in Brazil have roots that are sensitive to rhythm, and since I play the drums, I would be very happy if people could feel something from our performance. I would also like to continue to carve out rhythms that can be properly conveyed to the Brazilian people and that will resonate in their hearts.
If you don’t know, check it out the music The Rumbling: