Dirty Marmaduke Flute Squad breaks up
Dirty Marmaduke Flute Squad has broken up after seven years, guitarist Nikc Miller tells Midnight Sun.
The Baltimore costume band just played Windup Space Friday for their most recent self-release, "Boneslinky," a show that was joined by another local wacko/hero, Septimius the Great.
Miller said the band hadn't generated enough commercial interest to justify keeping it alive, especially as band members go on to other ventures, like working at an alpaca
"In the early days, we could play anywhere within a day's notice," he said. "But now it's gotten too elaborate to make it work. There's only so many freaks and weirdos in this town that like us, and it's not clear they'll come out every time."
Dirty Marmaduke started recording in 2003, and performed its first live show two years later at what is now the Hamilton Arts Collective.
The five band members dress up in ludicrous costumes and sing songs like "Don't Let Jesus Ruin your Day," and "I Like Fat Girls." Lewd? Sure, but the band was also living, costumed testament that there's room in the city for every weirdo fond of a dollar store unicorn costume.
Miller said the goal was never to make money, which allowed them to stick together for seven years while barely breaking even. But as band members dabbled in other projects and careers, it was difficult to keep a balance.
The band members collectively decided it was time to quit on Saturday, a day after their album's release party at Windup Space as part of Baltimore Beer Week. Miller said some 300 fans attended.
In between drinks at Racers Cafe and Hamilton Tavern, lead guitarist Ryan Graham suggested they weren't breaking through to crowds beyond their fans.To produce this latest album, they raised some $600 from a kickstarter.com campaign.
"If you're around and around, people think if they've seen your show, there's just nothing new to find," Miller said. "It's such a small city, and there's just a ton of bands and not that many people."
But Miller also said that the band was competing with some of the members' other projects. Miller is working on his solo career, Graham is working on a book and vocalist Steve Thomas is working at an alpaca ranch.
"It wasn't a meeting, it was just a conclusion we came to," Miller said. "We have all this other stuff we want to do," Miller said.
Barring some lucrative offer, Miller said the band won't perform again. The new album will still be sold at their website.
Photo: Dirty Marmaduke Flute Squad