At long last, Different Places in Space unleash an out-of-this-world debut

Pittsburgh psychedelic rock band DPIS talk finding their sound ahead of Saturday’s long-anticipated album release show.

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DPIS. Photo: Diana Sieber. Collage Art: Paige Powell.

“It’s the closest thing to sex,” said Different Places in Space co-founder, Dan Ruffolo, about jamming with his bandmates. 

“You get to have this blissful connection with other people in a nonsexual way, and it gives you the same kind of freedom of losing the moment and getting out of your mind and getting out of time.”

If losing yourself to live music is your thing, Saturday’s release show for the band’s debut album should be nothing short of bliss.

Though Different Places in Space [DPIS] aren’t new to Pittsburgh dive bar, concert and festival lineups, their self-titled album, available on streaming platforms Saturday, January 7, will be their first full-length release.

For the band’s founding members, the moment is nearly ten years in the making.

DPIS s/t album cover art by Ari Cort

DPIS was founded in Los Angeles by Ruffolo and Michael Palladini (bass, synth and piano), two Pittsburgh natives living as roommates in LA.

Ruffolo said the essence of the band developed over those two years in Los Angeles before he and Palladini parted, with Ruffolo moving to Chicago and Palladini back to Pittsburgh. Palladini kept the band going with a rotation of members, mostly as a three-piece jam band.

Ruffolo continued to shape and influence the band virtually from Chicago and made return appearances to perform in Pittsburgh. It wasn’t until 2019 that DPIS dialed-in their final form, with Lukas Kameroski on lead vocals and rhythm guitar and Michael Zickefoose on drums and percussion. 

“I always said it’s like turning soup into sandwiches,” said Kameroski, about the band’s taste for different musical styles. “Beforehand, it was a very psychedelic soup, and now we have soup, and sandwiches and salads – we have the whole menu.”

Kameroski said listeners of the debut album will be taken on a psychedelic odyssey, not unlike the one the band endured to make it. The album came to life over four sessions at several Pittsburgh studios over the course of three years. The final product contains songs mixed and mastered by the band themselves as well as others from local producers.

Three of the band’s four currently released singles are included on the album, alongside seven brand new tracks. Ruffolo, who plays lead guitar, synth, piano and vocals, said the album is a fun and unique collection, mixing moments of rawness with high-quality production. 

He said the cosmic name “Different Places in Space” came to him about a decade ago:

“I was studying sound and the teacher was talking about sound waves, like, ‘when they reflect, they’ll bounce off a wall and travel different places in space’,” he said.

“I was like, ‘that’s a band name.’”

Now, Ruffolo describes their sound as “velvet puddles of psychedelic space tones,” with ambient chillness. Their shows, he said, give fans a raw, energetic performance, and the album release show promises to be no different.

“We always throw a party.”

The party is at the Funhouse at Mr. Smalls in Millvale. Tickets can be purchased online. Doors open at 6 p.m. with a 7 p.m. to midnight showtime. Saturday’s show will also feature DJ Formosa of Jellyfish, Arie Cole, vinyl DJ Paul Seif, and a performance by Ames Harding & the Mirage. Different Places in Space debut, self-titled album will be available on all streaming platforms January 7.