For many of us music is something we heavily rely on and on a daily basis. We pick, and very delicately at that, songs that best fit our current moods, situations and emotional state. We pick songs with lyrics that we can relate to. Ones that make us feel less alone and bring comfort, even if it’s just for those few minutes. It takes a lot to put your heart on your sleeve and then step out into the world for everyone to see and dissect. However, this is what bands and artists do every time they give us new music and that is a type of vulnerability that should be respected and appreciated. So when I heard the debut EP by No Time for Structure (NTFS), I was amazed by the extreme honesty and vulnerability it has lyrically. We head back to South Jersey for this one. There we meet Chris Kelly, frontman for NTFS, and he’s made it known he’s not here to fool anyone.
Let’s start by giving a proper introduction to who makes up No Time For Structure, meet Chris Kelly, the man behind the soul and funk of this group. Does he look familiar? Well, that’s because he also plays in the South Jersey band Pointless. NTFS is Chris’ project that he started back in 2017, but the project took off when he met fellow Pointless band member Jim McCullough. Jim also started Barksdale Beats and played a huge part when it comes to the sound of NTFS. The debut EP “Petty the Fool” released on April 1st, naturally, and we received an amazing music video for the track “Fool’s Gold” a few days later as Kelly played a fun little April Fools’ day prank on us all. The EP also opens with “Fool’s Gold” and we are instantly captured by the tracks groovy, funk sound and of course we couldn’t ask for more personal and relatable lyrics. Even with the lyrical content being on the more personal side, the whole EP keeps your attention and provides a refreshing new sound that can make even the Emo-est of kids crack a smile and quite possibly bust a move. Chris was kind enough to answer a few questions in regards to his musical background, NTFS and more!!!
- For starters, can you give us a little Chris Kelly history lesson? Did you grow up in NJ? When did you start and what got you into playing music?
I would love to give y’all a Chris Kelly history lesson! I did grow up in New Jersey, but also spent most summers visiting family in Brazil. I was always surrounded by talented friends who would show off, and top tier level musicians in my family, so naturally I always wanted to pick up something. It wasn’t until I was 15 I finally picked up the guitar. I got in trouble for like three months so I just spent every single day for hours playing, trying to be better than the day before. Sure enough shortly after, I was out playing shows every other weekend all over Jersey! It was time well invested!
- Who would you say some of your biggest influences are and why? Did any of them influence the sound for NTFS?
I have so many different influences that change really frequently, so I’ll try my darnedest on this one!!
I guess My Chemical Romance got me into playing at first, I always loved the broadway-like emo they present. I was really into a band called Lower Definition after that. They were always so ahead of their time, bending metal and pop the specific way that they did. I started getting pretty bored of playing guitar around 2014, and that’s when I discovered who Yvette Young was. She basically comes out and reinvents the freaking genre by tapping out these crazy technical catchy riffs, so you already know I was SO about that haha. I basically made my guitar playing all about tapping from that point onward, but I’ve calmed down a little bit on that technique over the last year or two. So what about the funk influences??? I didn’t get into funk until a couple years ago when a really good friend of mine showed me an awesome Spotify playlist of hers with classic artists like Aretha Franklin and Prince. I was immediately hooked and knew that’s the style I always wanted to go for, but didn’t know it yet. What I’ve been listening to a lot lately for inspiration though, is a lot of newer funk like Cory Wong, Louis Cole, and Cool Company.
- Now we obviously know you from the band Pointless, but how did NTFS start and come to be? And you work with fellow bandmate, Jim McCullough, on this project correct?
We DID make the right call with Pointless!
If we’re technically speaking on fine print and paper, I guess you could say No Time for Structure started back in 2017. I was out of a band for some time and got tired of looking for one, so I just started a solo project. All I had was GarageBand on my phone and my guitar from high school, so it really wasn’t glamorous at all. All of the recordings I had always sounded like trash and never did my songs justice. When I met Jim in Pointless, it was like a godsend. We clicked really well with each other immediately not only because we were the two new guys in Pointless, but because we’re like two sides of the same coin. I may have written the songs, but Jim really made them sound the way that they are, so he’s the one that basically made all of this happen. We love Jim and we love Barksdale beats!!
- With the world of live music slowly creeping back in, will we expect to see NTFS playing some live shows in the future?
You know what, I really freaking hope so!!! I’ve literally dreamed of the day NTFS finally plays it’s first show for months now! It’s really tough meeting new people with the state of that world, so we’re actually still looking for musicians to play shows with us. I really hope we can find other artists who are just as stoked about the music as we are. I really miss being a part of a scene.
- Now for my annoying question, if you were only allowed to play and tour with one band for the rest of your life, which band would it be and why?
Ouch! That’s a really hard question!! I would say I’d have to go with Polyphia, because all of their shows look absolutely nuts!! Also, it would only be imminent that I would get to party with Tim Henson. He’s another favorite of mine that I would literally cry at the slightest chance of working with him.
While he may not be fooling anyone, it seems the future could be quite bright for Mr. Kelly. The world is definitely in need of some candor and cool beats and it seems No Time for Structure is not lacking either. Do yourself a favor and check out this EP, share it will friends and give No Time for Structure a follow!
Article by Kristen Hernandez