"We wore white when the bands wore black on stage. We didn’t imbibe when others lived to do so. We meditated or recited mantras backstage before a performance. We burned incense and candles onstage. We didn’t do these things to be elitist or different. We did them because it was quite natural for us; and this is how we lived. I think people were interested in the energy and theatrics of the show and also in the members of the band. Maybe they saw us as a refreshing drink in a desert. And, culturally and socially, it was a desert back then. People were curious and wanted some for themselves. The pamphlets that we handed out before shows offered some insight into how to obtain the same for themselves. Many tagged along." --Damon Wallis, Ruin


I play rhythm guitar for the psychedelic punk band Ruin, based in Philadelphia. Ruin was first active from 1980-1986. We played several reunion shows in 1996 and again in 2013 and 2016. We're not quite finished yet.


This December (2016) the super badass, extreme/experimental metal L.A. label Southern Lord Records is re-issuing our albums Fiat Lux and He-Ho. Here's an interview with founder--and guitarist for Sunn O)))!--Greg Anderson. More on that below. First, some images:

Visit the Ruin... website for a ton of links to audio, video, reviews, images, and much more!


Ruin Facebook page




Southern Lord are extremely pleased to be reviving the music of Philadelphia's lost punk heroes, Ruin. Long considered a treasured local delicacy of the city's earlier hardcore scene, Ruin released two albums during their original run, 1984's He-Ho and 1986's Fiat Lux, both of which will be combined in for a vinyl release this December.

Set against the backdrop of a city destroying itself in slow motion, Ruin were of a Philly generation that had to create its own culture to push back against the despair and dead ends that they were confronted with. Their relative isolation is mirrored in the distance between Ruin's muscular, turbo-garage jams and the rest of US punk/HC at the time - the band got it across not through violent speed and mania, but with body-shaking chunks of simpler punk that refused to fit in with the wider template. Labelled from their early days as a Buddhist hardcore band (though not strictly the truth), Ruin are an object of intrigue that have rewarded the curious since 1982, but getting your hands on either out of print He-Ho or Fiat Lux has never been an easy task. A recorded output that totals 28 tracks (including a couple of significant Leonard Cohen covers that were praised by the artist himself) will at last be available on a wider scale, including original scans of the detailed lyric sheets and inserts, as well as in depth retrospective notes that help to place Ruin in Philly and punk history. 

Performing on candlelit stages all clad head to toe in white, Ruin aren't a band to listen to if you want to hear another near identical iteration of a New York, LA or Midwest sound - they simply couldn't be playing for any other reason than to satisfy themselves and realise their ideas. They rocked hard and loud but in their own method, and the heat and sweat of their playing emanates from the rich recordings. 

Southern Lord Records Ruin page

Band Camp digital downloads

Ruin on Spotify

Quick Links


Winter 2018

Sign up now for "Varieties of Buddhist Healing," with Pierce Salguero; and "The Art of Philosophy: Peter Sloterdijk on the Practice of Wisdom," with me.


My new book , A Critique of Western Buddhism: Ruins of the Buddhist Real, can be pre-ordered at Bloomsbury Academic. More info here, too.


New seminars scheduled at Incite Seminars. First up is Akilesh Ayyar, "How to Find What isn't Lost," January 20th.


Fall 2017

"This is a rich disagreement!" Conversation with Tom Pepper at Speculative Non-Buddhism.


I moved the Incite Seminars page to Please have a look!


Summer 2017

Starting enrollment for two public courses: "Alienation and Its Antidotes: A Workshop with Anthony Paul Smith on the Thought of François Laruelle."


"Meditation: Self and Society" Monday mornings

September 25-October 16. 

Information on Incite Seminars. 


Tom Pepper at Speculative Non-Buddhism: "No Thought, No Problem."


Spring 2017

Starting enrollment for public course "Buddhism in the Age of Trump." Begins Tuesday, June 13. Information on Incite Seminars page. Make thinking great again!


New post at Speculative Non-Buddhism by Jonathan Earle: "Only Don’t Know! Reflections on a Thoughtless Life"


"Criticism Matters: A Response to Rick Repetti," my contribution to the new book Handbook of Mindfulness: Culture, Context and Social Engagement (Basel: Springer Publishing, 2016) at Speculative Non-Buddhism.


Fall 2016

Ruin records He-Ho and Fiat Lux are being re-released with bonus tracks! Read about it at Earsplit. You can also pre-order directly from Southern Lord.


New essay by Tom Pepper, "Writing With Pencils and Eating Brownies: What Can Enlightened Brains Do?," at the SNB blog.


Spring 2016

I recently did two interviews with Matthew O'Connell at the Imperfect Buddha podcast.


A thoughtful discussion of the Speculative Non-Buddhism project at the Imperfect Buddha podcast. Link at SNB.


Summer 2016

* Several new posts at Lines of Flight.

* Cruel Theory | Sublime Practice is now available on Amazon US and Amazon UK. Read an informed review at the Journal of Buddhist Ethics.


* New interview with my Ruin band mate Cordy Swope at Seymour Magazine.


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