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ABOUT

Ritual Space Travel Agency is:

SAIC Chico, bass and vocals

SA El Jefe, guitar and vocals

SA Klaus Umlaut, drums and percussion

SA Pokevon, percussion

SA R88ND88S, keyboards



The original (and most likely real) story of this band is that they sprung fully formed from the head of baseball great Mickey Mantle, but as impressive as that sounds, there really isn’t too much more to that story. As such, we’ve made up something more believable, and considerably longer:

Benjamin Morelli-Ramirez de la Moose (guitars, vocals) and his younger brother SAIC Chico (bass, vocals) grew up in a snotty, rich suburb of Pittsburgh where money grows on trees behind electrified fences. Neither rich nor particularly well suited to snot, the brothers spent the better part of their childhood playing one musical instrument or another and forming a series of bands so cool that no one ever heard of them.

Andrew Fitz (guitars, vocals) comes from the same sucky suburb, the youngest of 32 children. He didn’t like it either. His folks bought him a sax which he would trade for an electric guitar in order to put an end to getting his ass kicked for being a band geek, as well as to try to finally get laid. He would wind up getting his ass kicked for having long hair and playing simple rock music for all the wrong reasons. After high school, Ben became a combination meteorologist/prostitute/composer, dropped out of college and moved to New Orleans, a suburb of Phoenix in Southern California which shares a border with Amsterdam. Chico and Andrew went to college like good little boys. Chico bounced around the planet a couple of times, and eventually came back to Pittsburgh to play with the late, lamented Smoking Pets. Andrew moved to Florida, learned more ways to bastardize ugly minor scales and power chords, and then moved back to Pittsburgh where he continued to regret anything he did.

Years later, Ben also moved back to Pittsburgh, and began performing again with Chico. When the other band members they were working with tragically imploded, Ben and Chico hooked up with Andrew, who introduced them to scene veteran Troy Cramer (drums, knuckles) - formerly of Seventh House, Bucky and the Surf Weevils, about a billion other bands, and currently also backing up Chismo Charles with the Jeff Bell Blues Band. Ben and Chico clubbed a baby seal into the shape of a human, which developed an exceptional talent for clarinet and saxophone, graduated from Juilliard, performs with the seminal avant-punk band called The Pittsburgh Symphony, and goes by the name Pat Leyden (aforementioned woodwinds, omelettes), after the guy who has exactly the same history except for the baby seal part. Finally, an old friend of Ben, Chico, and Andrew from school told the boys he had a trumpet-playing mushroom gestating in his sister-in-law’s basement who was also learning the trombone. We call him Robert “Bud” Smokovich. Ben is currently on leave from his senses as well as from the band. He's gonna see how the water smells in Morocco. Jamie Owen Ball, who was a member of the imploded RSTA, is now back in the fold, and kicking that patented Dog Surgery Alto Sax sound he is so famous for.

The music of this band is influenced by such disparate artists as Sly and the Family Stone, Tom Waits, Los Lobos, Sun Ra, Frank Zappa, Igor Stravinsky and Tiny Tim. I’m lying about Tiny Tim, but mentioning Igor Stravinsky seemed too pretentious. Ritual Space Travel Agency is tirelessly dedicated to the quest to make people dance to strange music.

Fun (largely false) facts about Ritual Space Travel Agency:

  • Free admission to any gig if you show a corpse at the door.
  • We used to be Poison.
  • We’re media darlings.
  • Andrew’s nostrils have teeth.
  • Troy eats nothing but cheese.
  • Chico is a master of ‘Kung Fu Affection.’


what we do in our spare time
SA DOA SAIC Chico SA Pokevon SA Klaus Umlaut SA El Jefe