Rushmore Academy is a synth-rock-power-pop extravaganza hailing from St. Louis, Missouri. With a music scene that has yielded such artists as Story of the Year, The Urge, So They Say, MU330, Chingy, Nelly, Chuck Berry, Local H, Greenwheel, and J-Kwon, the band knew they had to stand out in some way in order to earn the respect of the city...and so the band decided to do something a little different than their peers. With a mix of pop, rock, and new-wave, not to mention catchy chorus after catchy chorus, the band decided to take on the world. Rushmore Academy stuck with the pop formula: one part infectious melodies, one part clever lyrics, two parts catchy and melodic singalong choruses, and, for a twist, one part keyboards, synthesizers, and drum machines. It is with these ingredients that Rushmore Academy formed their own unique brand of music that took and is still taking St. Louis by storm.
Rushmore Academy formed in the fall of 2003, played their first show to about 50 people in December of that year, and started a forward march of progress that allowed them only to grow. With Steve Neske on lead vocals and guitar, Steve Fee on guitar and vocals, Jason Kramer on bass and vocals, Craig Jenkins on keyboards and vocals, and Matt Effinger on drums and vocals, the quintet sat down to write the best music they possibly could. They wrote diligently for months, and finally, in the summer of 2004, they entered Trailer Studios with producer and engineer Rich Criebaum (of Mesh STL (Jive Records) and ModernDayZero) to record their debut EP, a record which would go on to win the readers choice award for Best Local Album of 2005 in St. Louis' River Front Times newspaper. After a lot of time spent in the studio, the band had a finished product that they were all very proud of, not to mention excited about. And much because of Criebaum, Rushmore Academy was now a better and tighter band than they had ever been before. With a hectic tour schedule in St. Louis and the Midwest, they played as many shows as they could to promote their then yet-to-be-released EP. With shows in Missouri, Kansas, Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Nebraska, Arkansas, and Oklahoma, they toured for almost a year, cramming all five members into a quad-cab truck. Every member of the band then quit school in order to have the time and effort needed to make the band successful. Rushmore Academy continued their hard work in hopes of making their dreams come true...
...And then on May 28, 2005, Rushmore Academy proved that they were not a band to be taken lightly. They released their EP, titled "If the Cigarette Smoke Doesn't Kill You, the Hairspray Will," to nearly 600 fans at St. Louis' premier music club, Mississippi Nights. That night the band moved upwards of 600 copies of the CD, an illustration of success, which was a far cry from their first show just over a year earlier. After showcasing themselves at the top of the local stratum, Rushmore Academy decided to focus even more of their attention on touring the Midwest. While Rushmore Academy has not yet hit the east or west coasts, they have played many cities in the Midwest over and over, gaining a loyal fanbase.
People knew from listening to the record that Rushmore Academy have powerful and infectious songs, but what converts most casual fans into true believers is their energetic and dynamic live show. With bodies twirling, guitars spinning, and members jumping and flipping, crowds couldn't help but take interest. Rushmore Academy then started playing with more and more national acts in some well-known clubs. They have already been lucky enough to play in some of the most recognizable venues in America, such as hometown venues the Creepy Crawl and the aforementioned Mississippi Nights as well as the Metro in Chicago and the Granada Theater in Lawrence, Kansas. They have been honored to share the stage with Rise Against, Letter Kills, Zebrahead, Lucky Boys Confusion, An Angle, So They Say, the Junior Varsity, Steel Train, Flogging Molly, Bullets and Octane, and pop-punk juggernauts Bowling For Soup.
With a busy writing and touring schedule ahead of them, Rushmore Academy will continue their work-ethic of self-improvement and determination and will not stop until the world takes notice.