The world of Mississippi punk is a glowing fragment of the scene at large, but it doesn’t necessarily reflect that scene’s impersonal nature. Touring bands leave impressions. Every punk here is family. So when a local band buys the farm, the impact rolls over the entire community.
Exit Mississippi hardcore punk thunk The Limbos, which singer Tyler Ricketts and drummer Nathaniel Hill said is influenced by Japanese groups like Kuro and Coma. The band brought with them an aggressive sociopolitical approach to songwriting that kept everyone grooving at shows.
Such merit didn’t go unrecognized, as the group saw wide attention from DIY zines and online outlets—a testament to the band’s relevance even after their decision to split, which came when Hill decided to move to Kansas City roughly a year after the group’s formation.
Ricketts said the band’s original vision was to play punk music, do punk stuff with people they love and show what Mississippi punk was all about.
“Nathaniel had some music and lyrics that he made a while back and wanted to play them,” he said. “He gathered around some Mississippi punks that were not currently in punk bands and brought us together to play it live.”
The band’s absence, however, hasn’t kept people from talking, the most notable instance being a recent write up in DIY outlet MAXIMUM ROCKNROLL.
“I was actually really surprised when people were into our music,” Hill said. “Whenever the other members and friends would tell me anything people mentioned about us online or in a zine, it blew my mind every time. It’s still crazy to me that some people honestly really liked our band when all I ever wanted to do was play a few shows and make cassettes.”
Which was exactly what the gang did, to a personable and memorable effect. According to Hill, the members were “about as chill as a band [could] possibly be with each other.”
“It was a short-lived bunch of fun, which is exactly what I wanted it to be,” Hill said. “We acted like assholes to each other, which is what I’m pretty sure what you’re supposed to do when you’re in a band. . . . Everyone worked super hard to make shit happen. . . . They all put forth the effort to get us on shows, organize tours and get our names outside of Mississippi. I hope it was as chill for them at some point as it was for me for the entire duration of the band.”
Ricketts said The Limbos played the majority of their shows in Hattiesburg and Jackson but spent time playing all across the southern states.
“When we went on our weekend tour, we played in Tallahassee, Birmingham and New Orleans,” he said. “One weekend we traveled out to Denton, Texas to play a show at this park. . . . It was punk music happening in the middle of a soccer field, if you can picture that. Almost all of our shows, though, have been house shows, besides a few of them being at venues.”
As mentioned, bands in small communities like the one in Mississippi tend to make the biggest impacts. Ricketts said he hopes bands such as The Limbos can inspire new artistic projects in smaller scenes.
“Mississippi has a small punk scene compared to many other places,” he said. “Starting any sort of DIY-induced motion makes a huge difference in our scene—for example, a band, zine, art project, photography—the list goes on and on. I hope at any of the shows we played, someone saw us and was inspired to pick up an instrument, start singing, start a band or at least have an idea for a band they would like to start.”
Ricketts said that before Hill moves on to Kansas City, group may release “one or two more things.” Whether physically or not at all, it seems The Limbos will stick around for some time.