Multi-instrumentalist Jim Dead (aka James Misbrener) began playing music as a wee lad influenced by relatives who encouraged him to strap on a piano accordian, which he had done so by the tender age of five. (He mastered by twelve).
In later years he flogged his brother’s “dusty old guitar” and taught himself how to play it, moving on to piano in his mid-20s, then harmonium, melodica and bass. Presently he is in the midst of a passionate affair with Casio keyboard, tape-to-tape players and ‘music concrete’, a defining feature of his latest album, ‘Jim Dead & The Army Of Shadows’.
Taking eight years to complete, the ‘Jim Dead & The Army Of Shadows’ album began in inner-city Sydney in 2001, with writing and recording continuing in London between 2002 – 2005, the album finally completed in October 2009. ‘Jim Dead & The Army of Shadows’ combines electronic orchestration with live instrumentation, many of the instruments played by Jim himself. He also sang lead vocals on all of the songs.
The album was also played – and sung – on by some of the most talented musicians in Australia and London, including Myles Heskett and Chris Ross (both ex-Wolfmother, now Palace Of Fire and The Slew), vocalists Tess Bryant and Laurel Puckeridge, violinist Jason Tampake (Firekites, Charge Group), drummer Sean Brady (Groove Ganesh, Shemozzle) and horn player Stu West.
Jim released his first album ’13 Songs By Jim Dead’ in 1998 which received favorable reviews from SMH music writer Bernard Zuel and on London radio XFM. A talented musician, artist, photographer and graphic designer, Jim Dead also composed and produced original soundtrack music for Neil Mansfield’s feature films Fresh Air (1997) and Streetsweeper (2007), and previously played with bands Birdhead and Aunt Jennifer’s Tigers, the latter recording an album and gaining management.