Now for something completely different - Masamune

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In a city saturated by Indie music, an alternative rock band are determined to make their sound heard in Sunderland. Katy Wheeler finds out more.

MASAMUNE are on the cusp of bringing their music to a larger audience.

Though they’ve been together as a three piece since 2009, bringing singer Neil Anthony on board has helped to propel them on to a larger stage.

They are gearing up to release their debut EP, Masquerade, on March 30, with a launch gig at Plugged Inn in Holmeside.

It’s a chance for Mackem ears to hear the fruits of the four-piece’s labour, after they recorded their EP at Room3Recording with Neil Bassett from Hyde and Beast.

They’ve also worked with Smooth Motion Potions to create a self-funded music video which will be premiered at the gig. James Wallace, from Millfield, who plays bass in the band alongside singer Neil, Steve Kane on guitar and Jack Johnson on drums, said: “There’s a lot of acoustic artists around at the minute as well as metal and indie, but we think we’re different.

“The reason we describe ourselves as alternative rock is because that’s the closest genre to what we sound like.

“We are influenced by people like Muse and Red Hot Chili Peppers.”

Speaking about the forthcoming hometown gig, their biggest self-organised gig yet, James said: “People can expect an energetic performance.

“We try to perform how a band we would want to see would perform. Hopefully people will feed off that energy.”

The band’s name is also different to the norm, as James explains: “The guitarist Steve came up with it from a video game years ago called Final Fantasy.

“In Final Fantasy 7, Masamune is the name of the sword. It’s also the name of an ancient Japanese swordsman.”

* Masamune will play Plugged Inn between 8pm and 11.30pm on March 30. They will be joined by The Creep Void and 27 Side Effects. Tickets for the launch gig are priced £3.

They are available to buy on the door or from the band’s Bandcamp page.

Masquerade EP is also available to pre-order from

There is a limited edition of 100 CDs priced at £3 each and a digital copy is priced at £2.

You can also learn more about the band at