Cytokine is a band from New England made up of local scene veterans. “Man On Fire” is the single from their upcoming debut EP The Cytokine Deception.
The New Hampshire band features members from Dismantle the Cyborg, The Last King, Dead Wind Prophecies, and Call to Arms. The band has this to say about the track:
Our most diverse song, “Man on Fire”, tackles the human ego and what it means to be on top. Having been in the local scene myself (Eric) for the last 11 years I’ve seen plenty of local bands who think that they’ve made it or are big shots. Guys who played one Van’s Warped Tour parking lot stage and think they’re the man like Denzel Washington or something. So my lyrics here resound this topic “pull your head out of your ass”, “so you’ve made it to the top, I want to see you jump” literally referring to them hopping off of their high horse. We had to have Scott Rudd, professional videographer, handle the lyric video, his lyric videos are by far the best out there.
After the music video, we also have a short interview for you guys. Hope you all enjoy!
1. What spurred this look at and takedown of ego?
[Eric Zuchowski – Vocalist] Over the years I have come to know many musicians/bands/people who get a grain of attention, be it “playing” the parking lot stage for a major act several hours before the main stage begins or playing on the main stage when the majority of acts on the main stage are local. After playing said show/shows they become a different kind of beast. They’re no longer the humble buddies that you’ve played with before, but some sort of attention seeking, pay to play machine. While pay to play has its time and place, some bands abuse this and let their image overtake their sound. “Talent is overlooked by the strength of an image” ~ Smashface
2. Being veterans of your local metal scene, I’m sure you’ve seen what unchecked ego and hypocrisy can do to a person (and make them do). What advice do you have for artists in this regard?
[The Band] For people/bands with unchecked egos/out of control egos, be careful who you burn bridges with or rub the wrong way. Once COVID is over a lot of the venues/promoters who let things slide are either going to be gone or there is going to be an abundance of bands itching to play. This coupled with minimized playing opportunities caused by the foreseen lack of venues may mean that somebody you’ve pissed off will be the one booking you, which means you won’t get booked.
3. The pandemic accelerated and also altered direction for some changes in what it meant to be a working musician of any kind these days. What do you think the future holds for independent bands once the dust has settled?
[The Band] As COVID continues to dictate our lives we are seeing a lot of live venues shut down or promoters back out of the game, this means that when shows come back the places bands will be playing will be house parties, basements, VFWs or other local halls. The medium sized venues that are run by money hungry promoters will be few and far in between, so getting shows will be based around who you know in other local bands. We’re predicting that shows will be hosted by other local bands and COVID will have made the ties between local bands stronger than before. We’ll also see an influx of people at shows due to the lack of shows as well as lots of new material that bands have been working on, us included.
The Cytokine Deception comes out in April, so keep your eyes peeled for that!
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Ben Serna-Grey is a Zmapp Approved writer and musician from the Pacific Northwest. He writes a lot of fiction which once in a blue moon is published, and writes some music which is published sometimes and even recorded once in a while. He also reviews short fiction on sffreviews.com, reviews even more music for New Noise Magazine, and he just had his latest short story published in issue 118 of Apex Magazine. You can read it here: https://www.apex-magazine.com/where-gods-dance/
He also posts reprints on Curious Fictions, one of which was recently the feature story.