After watching Wes Anderson’s 1998 film “Rushmore,” Zach Fountain says he knew that if he were to ever start a band, it would be called Rushmore Beekeepers.
Although this began as a solo project in 2001, Fountain has performed off and on with others throughout the years. These days, the Beekeepers are comprised of Fountain and his sister-in-law, Amanda Hawkins.
“She lives in Arizona, so our songwriting process is a bit unique,” he says. “I’ll send her what I’ve put together through Garage Band. From there, she’ll listen to it and then edit whatever she wants into the song.”
In a particularly ambitious move, the indie-folk duo composed one song per week from March 10, 2020, to March 2, 2021.
“I did something similar to this challenge about 10 years ago,” Fountain says. “At that time, I felt kind of rushed, but my wife and Amanda helped inspire me to do it again.”
Having joined the project around week 11, Hawkins helped Fountain maintain his focus and discipline, he says.
“Going in, my biggest fear was just coming up with song ideas,” he says. “I’d never put together a writing schedule before. I was always just like, ‘I need to wait for the inspiration to come to me.’”
To foster that inspiration, the singer-songwriter not only pulled from life experience, but also took in as much art as possible across multiple mediums.
“Moving forward, I’m excited to work on a standard, 12-song album” at a slower, non-weekly pace, Fountain says, “though that one-song-a-week challenge definitely taught us to work well under pressure.”
Both Fountain and Hawkins will perform at the Tiny Porch Festival on Sept. 25 in the historic Owen Park neighborhood.
“We played (the festival) in 2019 and it was a blast,” Fountain says. “They didn’t have it last year, but 2021 looks promising.”
Rushmore Beekeepers’ extensive discography is available at rushmorebeekeepers.bandcamp.com.