Update

Tour Update

We're on the bus right now heading towards Boston as we finish up our first week of touring this new album.  It's been quite a hectic month getting ready for this tour!  We did nearly a month of rehearsals/production rehearsals and this music has not been easy to pull of live as a four piece band...  But I think we are starting to get the hang of it after the first week of touring. One of the interesting things about this tour is that our music is pretty different than it ever has been before and you can tell that a lot of people are still trying to figure out how to engage with it in a group setting.  K.S. Rhoads is touring with us and he has been telling us that he is amazed at our crowd.  He says we have a much more attentive crowd than normal.  We're playing in a lot of clubs, which are normally pretty noisy, but on this tour there have been these beautiful moments that you could hear a pin drop in the room.  K.S. had played lots of clubs and he says he's never experienced anything like that before.  People are  attentive and engaged, and that's really cool on one hand!  It's amazing to have an audience that actually pays attention to the nuance of what's happening.  But on the other hand, there are moments of the set where it feels kind of funny.  "Let It Go", for example, is a pretty much a full out dance party jam, but a lot of people don't really know what to do with it.  And understandably so… In the past, we've toured with poets and string players, and broken up our show into movements…This time, there are shadow puppets and I'm often wearing a poncho and dancing around like an idiot.

So, while we have had incredibly positive feedback after the shows from people, there has also been a bit of awkward transition time as people try to figure out what they are supposed to do while we play this music.

So for those of you who have seen us before and are planning on coming to one of the shows on this tour, here's a little list of recommendations that might help ease you into the live experience of this new record…

Remember that all of life can be "sacred".

Because we started as a band by making liturgical music, it is easy to feel like something like a dance party jam is less "sacred" or something.  We don't believe that to be the case.  All of life is sacred.  The pain. The struggle.  The joy.  The stained glass and the mirror ball glass.  It's all part of existence, and it all matters.

Let go and have fun

Because there are all sorts of moments on this tour: heavy, fun, mystical, thoughtful…etc, the tendency can be to try to fit yourself into just one of those modes.  This tour is best experienced with loose fingers.  Experience the experience that comes and then let it go without expectation of what the next moment might entail.  Specifically, I'm really hoping that by the end of this tour, more people in the audience will start joining us more viscerally in the celebratory aspects of life that are found in I Am Mountain.  I love the attentiveness, but I'm also hoping to see more beer flowing and more booties shaking. That would make this experience even more sacred for me.

Bring a friend. (The crazier the better.)

I'll be honest with you.  Most of our real fans (the ones that buy tickets to come to our shows) love this album, but there definitely is a group of people who were kind of on the line about Gungor anyway who we have now officially lost with this album.  That's actually ok with us, but we also want to get this music in front of new people and perhaps fill some of the newly emptied seats with some of those who haven't heard of us before.  I think there are a lot of people out there who this music would mean something to that have never heard of us.  If you have any weird friends that would be interested in a concert that contains a classical guitar piece, synth solos, a resonator, a banjo and a dance party, then please let them know that they are welcomed to join some wayward and torn in having a good time singing and dancing together.

Hope to see you soon!

Updates

Hey everybody, just wanted to post a quick update about what Gungor has been up to. First, the DVD…

Wow, it has taken a long time!

We are very sorry for that. The big issue has been that we tried to produce a film that probably should have cost at least a hundred grand with about a 15 thousand dollar budget.  The crazy part is… We actually succeeded.  (Thanks primarily to Andy Catarisano and his young, crazy talented team.) The film is just finishing up final touches, and it shouldn't be all that much longer until you can get it.  The good news is that the film is pretty amazing, and I can't wait for you to see it.

The second piece of news. If you follow us on social media, you probably have seen us posting pics from the studio.  We are currently recording our third studio album, and I have to say… I'm very excited about it as well.

Of course, it couldn't be a Gungor album if it didn't make some sort of giant departure from the last one.  :)  But this departure is particularly interesting to me.  I have been talking for years about the problems of boxing some music into "sacred" or "secular" categories. I believe good theology would point to all of life and work being "sacred."  So our writing has actually finally been catching up to those ideals.  We have been writing all of these songs that are about all sorts of things. Love songs. Songs about our lives. Songs that tell stories.  And yes, even songs about God.  It's been ridiculously fun taking some of the boundaries off and seeing all of life as part of the "sacred" music that we make. In fact, we think that opening up those boxes is a move towards the sacred for us.

That being said, we still like writing "church music."   And while there probably won't be much of it on the new Gungor album, we are actually talking about releasing a new album under the title "The Liturgists."  That would be Gungor's new primariy outlet for the music that we write specifically for the Church to sing.  Please don't misunderstand this. Our aim here is not to seek fame and fortune in the mainstream world or to escape from the Church in some way. We simply want to practice what we preach and try to make good art that isn't limited to what is traditionally thought of as "religious" content.  We think everything is religious, and we want our music to reflect that.

We'll let you know more about all of this in the upcoming months, but I just wanted to let you all in on what's been going on behind the scenes and in these ol' noggins and hearts of ours.  Our plan is to release the new album in September and then tour the new Gungor album starting late October.  (And perhaps throw in a few Liturgist events here and there as well.)  Keep your eye on the website for further updates.  Much love to all of you!

Michael