In the Eye of Cytokine Storm

May 28th, 2013 | By | Category: Entertainment, Sounds

cyto 2 Cytokine Storm: A potentially fatal immune reaction consisting of a positive feedback loop between cytokines and immune cells with highly levels of various cytokines.

It was raining so hard I practically had to swim to their practice space, a storage unit off of Wendover. The unit was filled to the brim with music equipment. The walls were adorned with DIY soundproofing, made out of mattresses, and a single H.R. Geiger poster. The thundering metal music’s blaring rocked my already-soaked socks clean off.

According to Dave Harris, percussionist, they came up with the name because they wanted something that sounded smart but brutal. “He writes complicated,” said David of guitarist Cameron Wilkin, “I try and dumb it down just a bit.” Dave and Cameron both attended Guilford College and met there in 2000 while playing in a band together. Eventually, Dave dropped out of that project and moved out west in 2003 and returned back to North Carolina in 2005.

In 2007, Cameron’s band broke up and became interested n learning to play drums. Dave told Cameron, “Why don’t you bring your guitar and we’ll jam?” The two started to read off each other, which became a big part of how they write music. That was the beginning of what would become Cytokine Storm. Eventually, bassist Alex Burato and guitarist/vocalist Andrew Strobe would join the band and make up their original line-up.

cyto 3The band doesn’t really know what happened to Alex Burato, but he was soon replaced by Alex Mabe in 2010 and then the band really took off. Their first big live gig was in February 2011 at Somewhere Else Tavern.

In July 2011, Andrew’s employer transferred him to Minnesota, where he currently resides. Luckily, the band was able to finish recording their first album, The Art of Dying Well, before the move. Long time friend and fan of Cytokine Storm, Jess Paul, took over vocals in May of 2012

Separately, Andrew was a good guitarist and vocalist but doing both at the same time proved difficult given the complexity of the music. “At first it was difficult doing somebody else’s songs,” said Jess Paul about taking over vocals, “It was intimidating. I didn’t realize how much I would love it until my first show. This now my favorite project I’ve ever been in.” The band has just recently began writing music for Jess.

cyto oneBryan Regan joined as rhythm guitarist at the end of last summer. His first show was September 8th at Jess’s birthday party. “There’s no question who the most dedicated member of the band is,” said Dave about Bryan, “He drives all the way here from Raleigh for practice every week.” According to the band, Jess is the prettiest, Cameron is the most talented, and Dave does a badass version of Europe’s “The Final Countdown” at karaoke.

Cytokine Storm’s last show was at Corrupted Arts, a tattoo shop and venue on Chapman street. In addition to live music that show also featured suspension, the act of suspending a human body from hooks that have been put through the person just prior to the performance. The show was a huge success, the band rocked so hard that they caught the PA on fire.

If you feel like supporting the band you can visit them at and download their album at

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