#001 Interview: SiM's first headline show in Germany

SiM's headline show in Cologne 2024

Naomi from Kaibutsu Music here! We had the pleasure meet SiM in Cologne before their first ever (sold out!) headline show in Germany. The Japanese band went on tour after they released their now super popular anime OPs for “Attack on Titan”. We had the chance to talk to the band about their experiences during their first EU tour, their reaction to their fame in the West, GODRi learning english with Green Day and about their future plans for Europe and North America.


Naomi: Congrats on your sold out headline show in Cologne tonight. Are you excited?


MAH (Vocal): Absolutely! This is our first ever European Tour and our first headline show in Germany. For the first half of the tour, we toured with Electric Callboy and Nothingmore and already played a few cities in Germany but tonight is going to be special. We were worried if people would even come but the tickets sold out quickly and we’re very super stoked about it. Yesterday we played a headline show in Paris and the crowd went wild, the energy was incredible and I believe that tonight will be great, as well. It’s also our last show for this tour so we want to make something memorable.



Naomi: After releasing the Attack on Titan OP “The Rumbling”, an anime that is loved by lot of people worldwide, did your fanbase in the West change?


MAHOh yes, I mean like 100 times more? 1.000 times? Or probably even 10.000 times? It is not an overstatement to say it completely changed our lives. Honestly, 5 or 6 years ago, when we went to the US, we had the feeling we wouldn’t make it as an international band although it was our big dream. We went back to Japan and focused on the Japanese market and decided to put aside our dream to come back to the West. At this moment "Attack on Titan" fell from the sky and our lives have never been the same ever since. This European Tour wouldn’t even have been possible before and hey, life is crazy sometimes. I have to be more grateful for a lot of things. But yeah, the fanbase probably grew 10 million times. I’m really stoked!


Naomi: How’s the reaction to “The Rumbling” at your shows?


MAHThe Japanese audience was very quiet, but that’s a national thing in Japan. The Japanese people are always polite and respectful, which is a very good thing. But the crowd in the West, are like “Roaaahh!”, very energetic, which I really like about the fans abroad. The coolest thing about doing a show over here in Europe or North America is that the crowd sings louder than I can even hear myself and that’s really motivating, it’s great. 



Naomi: Would you say your fans in the West are mostly metal-heads?


MAHActually, right now, not at all. Most of our fans know us through “Attack on Titan” at the moment, so there is a lot of anime fans at our concerts. Back home we’re used to the rock culture, like Mosh-pits and Wall-of-deaths, but here, often than not, we see some really surprised anime fans sometimes. But I also think it’s a nice cultural exchange in a way. Nevertheless we hope to gain more metal fans, too.


Naomi: How was it working with UNFD, a foreign label, as a Japanese band?


MAHThe music industry is so different between Japan and abroad and we had to learn a lot. We’ve been in this industry for over 20 years in Japan but we never knew we had to start from scratch and learn how people make CDs overseas. In a way we felt like a first grader again, just with an adult brain which was a wild experience.



Naomi: In the comment section of the "The Rumbling" music video on Youtube people said that the song really captured Eren’s feeling in the last season of "Attack on Titan". So my first question is: was this song written for the anime?






Naomi: Okay, and what emotions did you want to deliver with the song?


MAHWell, I looked at past OPs for example by Linked Horizon and many other artists and came to realize that a lot of them were written from the perspective of the humans. I thought about Eren and the other humans who became titans and wanted to give a voice to their emotions. I wrote the whole song in the perspective of the titans so I believe that’s what sets this song apart from the other “Attack on Titan” OPs.



Naomi: On your new album “PLAYDEAD” you have an orchestral version of the full length studio version. Why did you go with an orchestral arrangement for this album?


MAHWell, the simple answer is the TV version, the short and the full-length version has already been released. So for the album we wanted to make it something even more special. Also, "The Rumbling" is our last song on “PLAYDEAD” and we thought it would be nice if it would be like the credits at the end of a movie. We looked for many options and stumbled upon the orchestral arrangement. SiM has never done something like this before so we thought it would be fun. It became something much greater than we initially imagined and we’re very happy about it.


Naomi: Sounds awesome. How was it working with an orchestra, especially for the first time?


GODRi (Drums)Yeah, so as it was our first time, the challenge was bringing the band sound and the orchestra sound together. The difficult part was balancing these two very different sounds. We thought of many different patterns and ended up with the one that most sounded like SiM but that was also enjoyable as an orchestral piece.


Naomi: TRIPLEAXE member coldrain is also touring in Europe right now and supported Electric Callboy with you and Nothingmore. Is there any chance that you are going to tour as TRIPLEAXE outside of Japan anytime soon?


MAHWe would love to! Actually, we did it once in Taiwan and it was so fun. Yes, coldrain too but also the third band HEY-SMITH is currently touring around America and we all wish to be more active outside of Japan. That also includes going on tour with all 3 bands together of course. We also organize the “Dead Pop Festival” in Japan, which would be nice if we could bring that over to Europe and North America - we could bring our friends to play shows with us, as well.



Naomi: That sounds like an exciting future to look forward to! All right, I have two more questions. What kind of music do you like to listen to in your free time?


SHOW-HATE (Guitar)Well for me, I listen to a lot of J-POP and Japanese music in general. And of course I listen to western music, as well, but I’m more drawn to Showa music (Japanese oldies).


SiN (Bass)Hm.. I don’t know. I guess all kinds of music outside of Japan, from all over the world. I like hip-hop from the US, also like to listen club music, as well.



GODRiI have been traveling overseas quite frequently as of recent and my english has always been bad, I never really learned it, so in order to study it, I’m listening to Green Day a lot, which has been one of the roots for our music. I have been listening to them over and over, studying the lyrics, hoping it would help me with my English.


MAHAt Karaoke, right?   



GODRiYes, haha. I hope one day I will be able to perform in front of everyone in Karaoke.



MAHHahaha. Well, for me, I don’t really listen to new music. I listen to the same albums that I love over and over. A lot of them are female vocalists like Amy Winehouse or the The Skins, a British band. I also like Little Simz a female rapper from England. I almost never listen to metal to be honest. If I do it’s either Korn or Limp Bizkit or something from an older generation.


Naomi: What do think about Japanese artists like YOASOBI or Ado blowing up internationally right now and do you feel an impact as SiM as well?


MAHI’m not sure about impact but we receive a lot of courage from them even though our music is completely different. What makes us happy is that Japanese artists are acknowledged in the world and in return that motivates us to do more and play more shows in the West! YOASOBI for example work on a totally different scale than us, fame-wise, but we still talk about our experiences abroad, exchanging informations. There are so many awesome artists and bands in Japan and I’m sure that people outside of Japan would like them, as well, so it would be nice if we’d be seen more in the future. If there’s anything that SiM can do, we would love to support it.


Naomi: Last but not least, is there something you would like to tell your European or German fans?


MAHThis tour we were able to go to 4 cites, 5 cities in Germany including our headline show here in Cologne tonight. We realized we want to do way more shows here and this is just our starting point. In the future we want to do more European tours and play shows in Germany. Right now, we only perform in smaller venues but in the future we’d like to play at huge festivals and play in front of big crowds, so please support us and take us there! Let’s make in happen together! Thank you all for your continued support!



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