Review Fix chats with American Greed’s Michael Mesey, Matt Arana and Dave Farber, who discuss their new Spanish version of “Together” and more.
Review Fix: What made you record a Spanish version of “Together”?
Dave Farver: There was a comment on our YouTube video asking for a Spanish translation. Initially we were going to do subtitles, but I’ve been learning Spanish and liked the idea of challenging myself to actually sing it in Spanish.
Michael Mesey: The song has always been very special to me personally and it’s exciting to see the English version reach so many people around the world. When the idea of doing a Spanish version came up, it became even more special because this would be an opportunity to reach that many more people with the message of “Together,” truly fulfilling the reason I wrote the song to begin with.
Matt Arana: My great grandparents were Mexican immigrants and I have always felt a connection to traditional Spanish and Mexican music. I started studying classical guitar when I was 11. Even though I never had the discipline to master pure classical guitar, it is deeply embedded into my rock and electric playing. I am very stoked to be working with (vocalist) Nancy J. in Mexico and to be introducing our song to the Spanish speaking world.
Review Fix: What was the process like?
Dave Farver: Mike has worked with Nancy Jacqueline before and she helped me with my pronunciation. Without her, something may have gotten lost! She sent me a recording of her singing it. I used that as a guide and sent her some of my initial vocals back so she could coach me on some of the words.
Michael Mesey: The process for me was A) watching Matt give this version a little extra Spanish flair throughout the song. Then B) interacting with Nancy J. Ramirez via messenger and video chats with me in St. Louis and her in Xalapa, Veracruz Mexico. We worked everything out before she went into the studio to record her vocals. We would send little vocal segments back and forth to get the sound and harmonies right. Then she did a first session there and sent me her vocals. I went over it and we had a video chat to fine tune. She returned to the studio and I talked to her and her engineer there and she recorded the rest of her tracks and sent them to me. I took them into the studio in St. Louis and sat with our engineer and we mixed it. The whole thing was the classic COVID-19 recording experience, recording in separate studios and connecting via video chat. That was a very unique experience for me because throughout my career, I had always been in the room with anyone I was recording with.
Review Fix: Any thoughts on more Spanish tunes?
Dave Farver: We are already talking about a new version of “Livin’ the Dream”, I’m pretty sure we’ll be working on that soon.
Michael Mesey: I’ve talked about how special “Together” is to me and the band, and I am really excited about making it the first recording we’ve done in Spanish. We probably have one or two other tunes with messages we might be interested in sharing in Spanish. But right now our main focus is this song and how it reflects the times we’ve been in and are coming out of. During the worst of the pandemic, it was about the loved ones we were missing, and as we emerge from it, the focus can be on the fact that finally, we’re all coming back together after a long time and the meaning of the song = “We Will Be Together”. It’s truly a reflection of that light at the end of the tunnel.
Review Fix: Any thoughts on performing the song in other languages?
Dave Farver: Possible. I just have to keep working on my accent, try to make it as fluent and fluid as possible.
Michael Mesey: Anything is possible, but for now we’re very pleased with the Spanish version and are focusing our attention on it. Dave has been traveling to Mexico for 20 years, spending weeks at a time and has been working on learning and becoming more fluent in Spanish over those years. He was eager to record “Together” to showcase his skills. Because of his background, we felt comfortable that we could create a Spanish version that would be filled with true meaning and authentic feelings. We wouldn’t want to record it in another language unless he felt he could bring the same warmth to it. I’m not sure that if we attempted to record it in another language, we could give it the heart and soul it needs and deserves. But then, Dave never ceases to amaze me.
Review Fix: How do you want this version to be remembered?
Dave Farver: As a way to reach across the border and remind people that most Americans are friendly with Mexico and have friends there or have visited. Most Americans want to be a good neighbor, and aren’t blaming them for our own problems.
Michael Mesey: I agree with Dave, but also include all of the other Spanish speaking countries and everyone else. In sharing our power ballad with the world, I have been using this quote to reflect my feelings expressed in the lyrics: ‘In this moment we are sharing together with the world. In my heart, this is the song for the moment we are living in.’ What started out as a song for those that were away from loved ones now includes all Americans and everyone in the world – and now, quite specifically, we’re inviting all of Latin America and the millions of Spanish language speakers to share in the hope and unity we are singing about. Because now more than ever we need to Come Together, Heal Together so ‘We Will be Together.’ We are so excited to introduce “Together” to many other countries and cultures with this new Spanish version. The reason we recorded this song was to reach as many people as possible with our message – and that message is that we will be together.
Review Fix: What’s next?
Dave Farver: I’ve always wanted to see more of Central and South America. A tour down there would be a dream come true!
Michael Mesey: Yes, it definitely would. Before we have the opportunity to do that, we’re excited about adding the Spanish version of “Together” as a bonus track the vinyl version of our album (also named Together) coming out at the end of summer 2021. But right now, like a lot of bands, as things start opening up we are looking forward to doing some outdoor shows – performing and sharing our message that we will be – and are now – together! We also have some national TV dates booked. We’re currently rehearsing with an eye towards performing live, wherever that may take us. We’re old school. We’re always ready to play anywhere and everywhere we can!
Review Fix: Anything else you’d like to add?
Dave Farver: Just to thank everyone involved for helping us get this version out, and to spread the word in every language that we need to care and help each other to finally put an end to this global health crisis. There is light at the end of the tunnel!
Michael Mesey: As we get ready to release the Spanish version of “Together,” it’s a good time to reflect on how gratifying it’s been to see the incredible response to the original version around the world over the past months. Since hitting the charts last fall, “Together” has reached #1 on both the World Indie Music Chart, Euro Indie Music Chart and #12 on the DRT Global Top 50 Rock Airplay Chart. On that last one, we shared space with the likes of Foo Fighters and AC/DC, whose “Shot in the Dark” was #1 that week. “Together” also currently has over 360,000 Spotify streams and its video – which intercuts live performance clips with poignant portraits of life since COVID-19 – has over 575,000 views on YouTube and counting. We’re excited to hear how everyone will react to the Spanish version! Music is the one thing with the power to heal the world, and we believe that the only way we’re going to solve anything is with common cause and purpose “Together.”.