"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:



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


Ruin Facebook page


Review of records by F.O.E.


Piece in the Philadelphia Inquirer about the 2016 show


Here's an interview with Joseph Gervasi for his Loud!Fast!Philly! project chronicalling the Philadelphia punk scene. (Might have to scroll down.) Here's one with my bandmate Cordy Swope. And here's one with my bandmate Vosco Thom Adams.


Here is an interview with me and my band mates about our adventure in the American punk underground, circa 1980s.


Here's another one, with Cordy Swope, at Seymour Magazine.


Ruin live in Philadelphia, 2013.


Ruin's website. Lots of links to youtube videos and mp3 sound files.


Kickstarter video and decsription for RUIN...Live 2013!


Dan Long's amazing photos of two Ruin gigs in 2013


Ruin at Freedom Has No Bounds


Fiat Lux at Discogs


He-Ho at Discogs


Songs of Reverie and Ruin at Discogs


Get Off My Back Philly Comp at Discogs and at the blog Freedom Has No Bounds


Terminal Magazine flexi disc and White Rabbit demo tape


That Was Then, This Is Now 7"


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Please consider donating to Incite Seminar scholarships (you can read about this under FAQs):


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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