Some new information about the Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain in general, and its new main theme in particular were revealed in an interview with Ludvig Forssell, music composer for the game.
On the left: Ludvig Forssell
Sins of the Father is the new main theme for Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. Forssell has written the lyrics for it while Akihiro Honda (Heavens Divide) composed the music. Honda made different versions, and Kojima (and other people) chose from those. Ludvig sang them for Kojima so he could hear what it would sound like.
The vocals and instruments were recorded in America (LA for the vocals, Nashville for the instruments, Santa Barbara for mixing).
The version we heard was made specially for the trailer. Kojima edited on the music, and afterwards Ludvig and the team tried to adjust the song to fit the trailer better. They made 8 different versions of the trailer, and chose from those.
Kojima is the one who provided the overall concept of the trailer, a text outline, explaining the basic structure.
The host asked Ludvig where the lyrics in the song came from.
Ludvig answered: “For this game we have a couple of keywords: race and revenge, and… unfortunately I cannot at this point tell you everything, but there’s a lot of metaphors in the lyrics that have to do with the game, and the whole Metal Gear Saga, pretty much.”
He started working on the lyrics in March (in preparation for E3). He presented a couple of different versions to Kojima, and they went with the current version.
Ludvig: “In the latter part of the song you actually hear how ‘Words that Kill’ connects to everything else.”
Eyestone: “I think that’s a good point for those that didn’t realize it, there’s things that come before that and after that, but it would be kind of a spoiler to put everything out there right now.”
Ludvig himself has been 3D scanned and put in the game, and he actually gets killed by Snake in the trailer, right after the lyrics “Words that kill” can be heard.
Ludvig Forssell in Metal Gear Solid V
“You’ll find various KojiPro staff members hidden throughout the game.” Eyestone added to this.
Hideo Kojima chose to use Donna Burke again for the vocals. She did a live performance of Heavens Divide (at a Peace Walker live event), and Kojima liked it so much he decided right there that she would do the next song as well. So it was already decided before the song was even made.
Ludvig talked a bit about the title, ‘Sins of the Father’. It needed to bear a lot meaning and work well as a title, but also be connected to the game.
Deciding the title was the first thing he did. Sins of the Father is an often used phrase (and it has biblical connotations as well).
Ludvig: “A lot of it [Metal Gear Saga] revolves around family. And you have the relationship based on some kind of sins, and some kind of things gone wrong in the past. And that’s the basics for why I chose this title. […] I think the title really connects well to not only this game but the whole saga.”