Family Mart and their intumescent newborn ‘Starlite’

Starlite is an intumescent material able to insulate from extreme heat, invented by British hairdresser and chemist Maurice Ward. Like the starlite, Mike Lee, former “Letting Up Despite Great Faults” and “Fanclub”, isolated himself from the outside and together with his new family, gave life to a new sound that swings from twee to noise pop, while the pandemic was changing the world.


YMX: Hey Family Mart, thanks for sitting down with us. What would you say to all our readers new to your project?

FAMILY MART: It’s just sort of an homage to the 90s sound we loved so much.

YMX: When did you know that music was something you wanted to pursue at an artistic level?

FAMILY MART: When I was in grad school for something else and realised I wasn’t good at it.

YMX: You recently released ‘Starlite’. Can you tell us how that project came about? 

FAMILY MART: The band is sort of a COVID baby, and with all the time at home, there is plenty of time to write sad songs in my garage.

YMX: What is the one thing you would like people to feel while listening to the ‘Starlite’? 

FAMILY MART: I want them to feel sad, but like in a happy way???

YMX: How did the recent pandemic influence your creative process? is remote collaboration easy for you? 

FAMILY MART: If there’s one upside to the pandemic, it’s that you have plenty of time to write, and plenty of time to go through multiple existential crises.

YMX: Do you feel more confident writing music alone, or within a team?

FAMILY MART: Alone, unfortunately I shut down if I don’t have a lot of control over what I’m doing.

YMX: Can you name the last gig you played? Would consider doing a livestream concert? 

FAMILY MART: I think it was in my last band and was a short mid-US tour that was highlighted by a So Far Sounds show. I don’t think we’d do a livestream concert considering we only have like 4 songs right now 🙂

YMX: Finally, what are your plans for the future?

FAMILY MART: We wanted to get these first 3 songs out and sort of make this band a “real” thing to us (since we can’t play any shows, it’s kind of all we have). We have been working on a whole new set of songs for hopefully what will be a new EP in the new year.