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STU alumnus releases debut EP

Submitted Beard SpringsteanA 2015 St. Thomas University journalism graduate has amped up his love of music to a whole new level.

Using the name Beard Springsteen, Jean-Étienne (J.E.) Sheehy released his debut extended play, Broken English, on Aug. 24.

“Beard Springsteen is a play on the legendary Bruce Springsteen,” Sheehy said. “I was a big fan of The Boss seven years ago, so when I slowly started envisioning playing punk music again, I felt Beard Springsteen was a perfect fit for what I was trying to do. Plus, I find naming my projects is the worst part of them.”

A native of Fredericton who has lived all over Canada, from Nova Scotia to northern Ontario, Sheehy said he has always loved music.

“There’s always been music in my family,” he said. “In 2000, when I was in Grade 7, when people started to play in bands, I got a bass since no one wanted to play bass and haven’t stopped playing since then.”

Sheehy describes himself as a freelance music journalist, general music nerd, radio host and rotisserie chicken critic.

He studied journalism at STU from 2012 to 2015 after starting his degree in 2006, when he said things didn’t work out for him.

“I had a job offer in Fredericton, and I worked for a few years until I answered my passion of music,” he said. “I had a great time at STU, but I wasn’t involved in school life that much since I was older than most students.”

Sheehy said he thoroughly enjoyed most of his classes at STU, but Beard Springsteen resulted from what he chose to take from academia in the end, rather than wait for opportunities to be handed to him.

“I’ve kind of had the idea for a punk project in the back of my head throughout the last few years and finally had a bit of time in front of me to put the project together,” he said. “Beard Springsteen can, and will, take many different forms for recordings and live shows.”

Sheehy not only hopes to work on songs by himself, but also play as a two-piece band or in some other way.

He said Beard Springsteen’s music ranges from punk rock to 1990s alternative rock with pop hooks.

“I’ve been writing these songs for a long time,” said Sheehy. “I like to call it ‘downer punk’ because, while they are fun songs musically, the lyrics are one of the first times I include myself in my music.”

Sheehy said he absorbs many different things from various musical works, which is reflected in his own projects.

“Beard Springsteen is similar to my other projects, as it’s based on the do-it-yourself mindset,” he said. “I wrote, produced and promoted the whole thing by myself.”

Sheehy said he didn’t wait for any opportunities or permission from anyone else to record the songs on his first extended play.

“No one owes you anything,” he said. “It’s all about figuring out what you want out of school, music, life or work. Releasing the first Beard Springsteen EP is like that. No one expected it; and bam, here it is.”

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