Katie M. Little and Timothy Poulton make up Mass Experience. During the early 1990s, they met at a music festival and struck up a friendship based on their shared love of new technology and the boom of dance music that had blown their young brains away.
Timothy and Katie have devoted their lives to the music they love, whether it’s as breakbeat DJs and promoters in the ’90s or self-taught graphic designers who created some of Sydney’s most famous club flyers and record label artwork.
Because of the many musical influences that have inspired them over the years, they established Mass Experience to collaborate once again. Their goal is to inspire individuals throughout the globe to live their lives with passion, love, and a desire to dance!
Get a full picture of one of the world’s greatest artists’ aspirations and aims as you read on.
What is your real name?
Katie M Little and Timothy Poulton
What’s your official Showbiz name?
How did you get into music?
I met Timothy back in 1992 when electronic records just started being imported into Australia – techno from Rotterdam, breakbeat from England, hi-NRG from Italy.
We were hooked! We started putting on underground rave parties in Sydney and creating art and music with the first Apple Macs.
We designed artwork for a lot of Sydney’s clubs and built a successful business around doing that when electronic music suddenly became mainstream.
Timothy went on to become a landscape photographer travelling to the world’s most remote locations while I got into writing and stand up comedy and looking after our family.
We released a couple of records back in the 90s, and it’s a joy to be making music and working creatively together again, drawing on all the musical influences and life experiences which have inspired us to make it this far – I always felt like it was what we were supposed to do together, but life took over!
What field or genre are you into and how would you describe it?
We describe our music as indie-electronica. It’s got the soul of indie music, with the hypnotic beats of electronic. I like to think our music is inspired by what drew me to raves in the first place – that openness of spirit, of unity and sharing something groundbreaking and bigger than yourself – it’s why we called ourselves Mass Experience.
What were your first project and the people you worked with and which year?
Under Mass Experience, we released our first album ‘Sitting With Demons’ in 2021. It took us a while to find the right producer, it was the first time I’d sung in a professional studio and I found it pretty terrifying, to be honest!
Chris Hamer-Smith at Forbes Street Studios really gave me confidence and Tim loved working with him too. He took the ideas we’d both come up with and turned them into a cohesive album.
To make music, or any art really, you have to share something of yourself and it was the first time Timothy and I had worked creatively together in probably a decade – Chris was a brave man!
Ironically the first album was called ‘Sitting With Demons’ which was all about having to deal with, or live through, uncomfortable and difficult situations. It’s a testament to Chris’ patience and solid energy that ‘Sitting With Demons’ was born!
Katie M. Little says,
The one thing that’s gotten me through the hardest moments of my life has been honesty. As dark as the purge of awfulness was, I stuck to the philosophy that all I could be was honest. I only took on creative work where I felt safe…whenever I release new music something amazing happens in my life, so I’m very excited to release this album ‘Pleasure And Purge’ because it has some beautiful healing tracks on it, particularly the final track ‘The Sun’ which I wrote about my best friend and my husband, without whom I could never have found my way through
Who or what inspires you or motivates you? And why?
Nice question! Gosh, so many things I find inspiring – nature, colour, music, people. At the end of 2021 I ended up having a nervous breakdown after both my parents died within a couple of years of each other, my mother had had Alzheimer’s for 11 years and I don’t think I could fully grasp the enormity of that until after she died.
She was the most inspirational person and had been hugely famous as a comedian and entertainer in her heyday in Australia, and her death was a very public event. It was the first time in my life that I lost all my inspiration and really had to get through six months of hell til I saw the beauty around me again.
I’ve always said, as an artist you make art out of whatever life throws at you. The new album ‘Pleasure and Purge’ came together as I was finding my way out of my breakdown. ‘Hope’ was the first song that came together, you can really feel the fragility.
‘The Sun’ is about the importance of the people in your life who stick by you through the darkest times, my husband Timothy and my best friend.
Any models you look up to? With reason(s) why?
I love all the strong female singers who have inspired me for generations – Siouxsie from Siouxsie and the Banshees, she was so ahead of her time.
Chrissy Amphlett from The Divinyls, Annie Lennox, Cyndi Lauper – any woman who is gutsy enough to front a band and show the world the woman she is without compromise through fashion, style, vocals, lyrics – gets my adoration!
What do you look out for in this line of business?
I’m always listening to new music. I write to ambient music and motivate myself to get out of bed with beats! I’m forever making playlists, which is the modern-day equivalent of the DJ mixtape – I couldn’t live without them!
What are some of the challenges you face in your career path?
Many of the most lovely compliments I receive are from people who’ve said they’ve seen me doing new things and been inspired to do something they’ve always dreamed of too. I had one female friend learn to ride a motorcycle, and another buy a set of drums!
I’m 47 and I’ve got three kids. I have no intention of slowing down and feel like I’m more in touch with my sexuality than I’ve ever been. The current disposable world has this infatuation with youth, I’d like to personally take on the challenge that age and status shouldn’t hold you back from doing anything.
My mum is a gay icon in Australia and homosexuality only became legal here when I was ?? Years old. Gay marriage was legalised only 15 years ago. And now that we’ve recognised the fabulous LGBTQI rainbow, I think it’s time we overhauled heterosexuality and brought it out of the dark ages too!
How do you feel the Internet has impacted the music business?
Our lives have been one rollercoaster after another because our artistic careers have been built around technology.
I was working in a record shop when Napster came along, the whole music industry, thriving labels and record shops virtually collapsed, owners got out and sold up or went bankrupt, and a new style of the industry was born.
The same has happened with book publishing, marketing, television, and journalism… the internet has influenced world politics and now I think it needs to be looked at how it’s seriously affecting mental health.
I’m old enough to remember life before the internet and the excitement surrounding it. We imagined how incredible it was going to be to have access to an encyclopaedia of information, without knowing we were also going to have the shitstorm of fake news to contend with.
We were amazed at the idea of instantaneous 24/7 communication, without taking into account the addictive and exhausting nature of never being offline… and we haven’t even seen the impact of AI yet which will take us further into the realm of questioning what it means to be human. What does this life have to offer us?
I think we’re at a saturation point where people know they have to prioritise
what in their life is important. Integrity is sweeping back into fashion!
Artists will continue to create art and music and comedy that reflects the culture of the time, and there will always be the business side that thinks, how can I profit from that? As an artist, all you can do is focus on making art for the joy of expression, to provoke desire, to stimulate, to motivate, to inspire…
Do you have any advice for aspiring songwriters?
Have courage, be original and put yourself out there. Don’t be afraid to fail – everybody fails, it’s only the ones who keep showing up who get somewhere.
What is your current project about?
The new album ‘Pleasure and Purge’ is how I rebuilt myself after having a nervous breakdown. After both my parents died I went through what I called ‘the awfulness’, for the first time in my life I couldn’t find inspiration and questioned my intuition, which has always been my guiding light.
The purge, having all the things I loved taken away from me, was extremely painful to get through. The pleasure is about rediscovering the beauty and reclaiming my playful nature, and ultimately how I learned to trust my intuition again and rebuild my ego.
What are your hobbies?
I love going bush! I love nothing better than heading to the country and disappearing for hours in nature, I always find something remarkable! Whether it’s a legless lizard or a native snail, or fantails diving to catch gnats in the afternoon sunlight – nature never fails to remind you what an amazing experience this planet is.
What do you do aside from this profession?
I moonlight as a tarot reader which ensures I’m always having fascinating philosophical conversations with people, I do weekly comedy on the radio, and I’ve just started knuckling down to write a book idea I’ve had for a couple of years.
I wrote a black humour memoir a few years back called ‘Catch A Falling Star – A Story About Growing Up with Jeanne Little’, (my inspirational mother who was a bit like Australia’s answer to Lucille Ball)! I’d love to make it into a movie.
Timothy is a force of nature, he never stops writing music, is heading back into the wild with his One Of A Kind Photography Tours, and is working on our next big project – building an off-grid recording studio and artists colony called The Little Estate which is very exciting.
As an artist, you need a lot of irons in the fire and some projects take a long time to come to fruition, so we rarely sit still!
What is one message you would give to your fans?
Get in touch! I love hearing from people all around the world, most of the art I make is for love alone – so it’s really so rewarding to hear from someone that they were inspired or touched by something I created. I truly love that, it makes all the effort worthwhile!