As multi-instrumentalists and songwriters, the Grammy-nominated Gungor has been categorized as everything from alt-folk to a musical collective to genre-jumpers. The duo consists of husband and wife Michael and Lisa Gungor, and it’s true—they are hard to fit into a box. That’s what makes them formidable.
Both grew up in small towns of less than 20,000 people and were raised in church. The couple, who met in college, share heartfelt references to seeing Teen Mania Ministries and The Power Team come through their hometown churches on tour when they were young. Michael was also involved in Promise Keepers and credits the ministry for giving him a chance for one of his first gigs. When the couple talks, it’s easy to tell faith-based events have meant a lot to them as a band.
“Seeing people around you listening to music is very unifying,” says Lisa. She admits it’s strange at first with a crowd of people not really saying anything to each other all of a sudden start singing the same words. “We’re all looking at each other and raising hands together, and all these strangers are one people now. It’s cool.” From her perspective onstage, she says there’s a big difference between coming together for a musical experience and listening to a song alone in the car. “People lend an energy. That’s what I love about playing live. That energy from them in turn moves you. When you’re in the room with others, there’s something unexplainable that happens.”