With each release, Gungor breaks barriers by creating honest, heartfelt music that explores many topics including faith, struggle and love, while still providing listener's with a unique sound. Their on-of-a-kind sound is a direct result of Michael Gungor's hodge-podge musical background. Drawing from genres as vast as the differences between jazz and contemporary worship music, Michael and Lisa Gungor intrigue listener's with their lush orchestral arrangements, while inspiring them with deeply honest lyrics. Ghosts Upon the Earth, the couple's first conceptual album, takes listeners on a wildly emotional ride from creation to the fall, making many stops along the way. The album is breathtaking from start to finish, earning the duo's third consecutive Grammy nomination. For more news on the band, including tour dates, check out their website: http://gungormusic.com/
I recently had the opportunity to see you perform in Atlanta, and I am curious what you aim for people to take away from a Gungor show?
Gungor: one of the things I love about art, is that it can say number of things to people. I broad hope is that it would just open people's hearts and that they would experience love, and that that would experience God. That is kind of the broad picture that we stay on, but what I love about those moments is that those broad things can speak individually to everybody circumstances and everybody's day-to-day lives. So as far as what they come away with, I just hope they come away with something that something to them. But during that process, I hope that they feel little bit more human, little bit more alive, little bit less stressed. Just connected to God, to each other and to life.
Ghosts Upon the Earth is a beautiful conceptual album, was that the initial intent. Did you write with the overall picture mind?
Gungor: For Ghosts Upon the Earth, yeah. Not all of the songs were just written for the album, but they were the songs that were chosen for the album and fit the structure and the narrative. We came to the table with like 50 songs (laughs), and we had some songs that we really liked a lot, but didn't really fit the Direction of the narrative that we were trying to tell.
Do you think those songs will ever surface?
Gungor: Oh yeah! I hope so.
Gungor: The same kind of thing, as the live show. To me, there were a lot of things that we intended to communicate like the story of creation, the fall, redemption and recognize the beauty of life. I hope that people see those things and pay enough attention. I hope that as art, it speaks beyond those things. I hope that those become symbols for more specific stories in their own lives. When they see hear “Let There Be,” they are not just thinking of literally the creation moment, but places of darkness in their own lives and need order where there’s chaos. I hope that it acts as it should and speak specifically, even when it's broad.
You recently wrote a pretty lengthy blog about “Christian” music and how it compares to the “secular” label. What do you feel is the main difference between the two? Do you feel like there's a main difference?
Gungor: I think everybody is different. We are trying to be ourselves, and other people are trying to be themselves. We all share commonalities with each other, but all of us have different thumbprints. We all have our own unique things. I think I’m just trying to be myself and write songs that are honest. That's what I hear in artist’s that I like. I don't want everybody to try to sound like something; I think that God has given us each unique talents and passions. The things that come out of me will be different than my neighbor, because I have a totally different set of relationships, totally different set influences and personality traits. Specifically what are we doing different? You know, I kind of grew up a guitar nerd and I tried to figure out how to shred on an acoustic guitar as a kid (laughs), while listening to jazz or whatever. So that is kind of a different thing and my church background, growing up with worship kind of the ground that I learned how to play music from. Those are all odd ways of growing up, compared to most people, so I think the music has plenty of uniqueness in that.
Who are some people that you look up to, what music industry as a whole?