SiM Reflects on Creating ‘Attack on Titan’s Hit Theme ‘The Rumbling’ [Exclusive]

Attack on Titan has continued to impress anime fans around the globe with its final season — and it’s not just the storytelling leaving viewers in awe. When Attack on Titan Season 4 Part 2 debuted back in January, its theme song took off almost immediately. “The Rumbling” by Japanese alternative band, SiM, topped the charts and accumulated millions of views on YouTube.

In a written interview with Showbiz Cheat Sheet, the band reflected on creating “The Rumbling” for Attack on Titan‘s latest outing — and the massive audience response that followed. Vocalist MAH, guitarist SHOW-HATE, bassist SiN, and drummer GODRi were all pleasantly surprised by how much traction it got.

Read on to learn how they felt about the fan reaction, what thought processes went into crafting the “The Rumbling,” what anime SiM would like to make songs for in the future, and more.

SiM knew ‘The Rumbling’ would take off, but the response still surprised them

SiM, the Japanese band behind 'Attack on Titan's hit theme, 'The Rumbling.' In the image, they all have makeup that looks like Titan markings under their eyes.
Japanese alternative band SiM | Crunchyroll

Given the popularity of Attack on Titan, SiM expected some fanfare once “The Rumbling” debuted. However, their imaginations didn’t prepare them for the immense reaction to the theme song. The group admitted that the opening blew up far beyond what they anticipated:

“Considering how huge this title is, we expected that it would be big for us too. But it totally went beyond our expectations. We all dropped our jaws seeing how fast the number shot up, Not just us the band, but the label too. Now things have settled down, and it’s starting to finally sink in.”

MAH added that “The Rumbling” even reached old acquaintances.

“Some people who haven’t been in touch in years would contact me, and [they] told me, ‘I heard that song!'” the vocalist recalled. “I feel we did a good job.”

Of course, with three of the band’s four members already enjoying the Attack on Titan manga and anime — and the last of them diving in once they’d gotten the job — it makes sense they’d feel pride in bringing its theme to life. And according to SiM, they wanted to offer a new perspective in the lyrics: one more centered on the Titans.

‘The Rumbling’ is meant to offer the Titans’ perspective

With “The Rumbling” written specifically for Attack on Titan‘s final season, the lyrics fit with the themes of the anime’s story. There are numerous references that can be connected to Eren and Mikasa within the lyrics. However, according to MAH, the band also wanted to offer a bit of the Titans’ perspective:

“The songs so far had been basically written from the perspective of humans. So when we wrote the song, we wanted to express the formidableness of the Titans, while keeping in mind that they used to be humans as well. So, we wanted to portray their conflicts and struggles in a dramatic way. And I feel that we’ve been able to capture that almost perfectly with this song.”

It certainly offers a new way of looking at the series, which spends most of its early episodes getting fans to sympathize with the human characters. The show has recently turned fans’ expectations on their head, and “The Rumbling” speaks to that.

SiM also emphasized how crucial analyzing the source material was for the writing process. When asked about the challenges of crafting a song for an anime, they noted the importance of fitting everything to the story.

“I had already read the manga, but in writing the song, I read it a couple more times, trying to deepen my understanding of the work,” MAH explained. “It’s not easy, but as an artist, I do enjoy that time. So I don’t think of it as a struggle.”

Bringing ‘The Rumbling’s music video to life

In addition to creating “The Rumbling” for Attack on Titan Season 4 Part 2, SiM got the opportunity to turn the song into a music video. The footage throws the band into the world of the anime, surrounding them with the Colossus Titans from the final season.

When asked what went into the making of “The Rumbling” music video, SiM had the following to say:

“In technical terms, we used the latest CG technology to achieve that look. Speaking in terms of artistic choices, the fact that the franchise allowed us to use that many materials from their world in our video, which is not easily done because of rights, proves that the creators of AOT loved “The Rumbling” and how much it resonated with them. So I’m very happy we got to do that. If the song sucked. I’m sure they would have said no.”

What’s next for SiM?

So, now that SiM has crafted an opening theme for Attack on Titan and turned it into an impressive music video, what’s next for the band?

“The goal would be the world tour,” MAH admitted. “Nowadays, it’s difficult to plan things outside Japan, so we focused our activities inside Japan. But since we had this unexpected big break, I’m hoping that the situation with COVID settles down soon so we can do a world tour.”

We also asked if they’ve got their eye on any other anime series, and the group revealed they’d like to do a theme for Chainsaw Man or Kaiju No. 8.

“It’s not like we can tell someone ‘We want to do it!’ and they’ll let us,” MAH noted. “I don’t know. We’re waiting for invitations!”

The band also announced on Twitter that they’re coming out with an EP — which will include “The Rumbling” — in September. Additionally, they’re playing at Crunchyroll Expo 2022. It’s not quite a world tour, but it does see them performing internationally!

SiM performing at Crunchyroll Expo 2022

If you’re looking for more of SiM on the heels of Attack on Titan Season 4 Part 2, you’re in luck. The band will perform during Crunchyroll Expo 2022, so attendees will get to experience their music firsthand.

Of course, those at home can look for clips online — and hopefully, that won’t be the last we see of the group. According to Crunchyroll’s guest profile, the event will park the band’s first performance of “The Rumbling” outside of Japan.

SiM takes the stage on Saturday, Aug. 6 at 7:45 p.m. PST. Learn more about the event here.