Mariah Powell – Web Editor; Torre Massie – Photographer
Since Michael Gungor’s February blogpost “What Do We Believe?” and the release of Gungor’s album “I Am Mountain,” many Christians haven’t known quite what to do with the band.
In an exclusive interview during SonFest, Lisa Gungor explained some of the band’s style changes and intentions, as well as how the controversy has affected their interaction with fans.
Previous albums contained a lot of “church” music, Lisa Gungor said, but she and her husband Michael also performed several songs that held a powerful meaning for them but did not fit with that style. The band “did not want to say no” to their other songs just because the styles did not mesh, she explained.
Gungor’s music is always evolving and shifting, and the band “never wanted a line between secular and sacred,” Lisa Gungor said.
Many Christian music fans struggle to see the Christian message in “I Am Mountain.” Lisa Gungor explained the meanings behind a few of the songs.
“Wandering,” she said, came out of the pressure of feeling that she had to “arrive” and “have the answers” at some point in her life. The song is her response to realizing that wasn’t going to happen.
The line “I am holding on to you” held a dual meaning for Lisa of holding onto God and her husband for strength.
The song “Beat of Her Heart,” perhaps one of the most controversial on the album, is a retelling of the Greek myth Orpheus in the Underworld. Lisa Gungor said it deserved to be included because it is an intriguing tragic love story that everyone can relate to.
Lisa Gungor said their goal is to be open and honest about their beliefs, not to make other Christians follow their theology.
“We don’t look down upon anyone with a different view,” she said.
She also said that their label as a “Christian band” played a definite role in the controversy, because people have certain expectations they don’t necessarily meet.
“If we were a ‘secular’ band,” Gungor pointed out, “people would have been happy we talked about God where we did, instead of being upset we didn’t talk about him enough.”