Tom Tikka picked up the guitar at the tender age of six after hearing Paul Anka’s “Lonely Boy” in his father’s old Chevrolet. Soon afterwards, he began writing songs.
Tom’s infatuation with music only deepened after his aunt’s husband introduced him to the concept of lead guitar and even more importantly to the music of such legendary groups as The Beatles and The Doors.
Tikka formed almost as many groups as he disbanded in his late teens and early twenties. Yet, when he finally signed his first recording contract on his 21st birthday, it was a solo deal and not a band effort. He recorded a three-song EP for Olarin Musiikki, a small indie label in Espoo (Finland), under the alias of Tom Spark. Unfortunately, the EP disappeared as quickly as it was released. Consequently, Tikka found himself in square one, without a band or a record deal.
Disappointed, Tikka withdrew from music for a few years but began writing songs again once his brother Lappe Holopainen suggested that they form a song writing team. Lappe had founded a group he was convinced would go far and he needed tunes for his new outfit. This group was Carmen Gray.
Carmen Gray was signed to Sony/BMG in 2005 and during the next nine years, they went on to record three albums and one EP. The group’s entire catalog (including such radio hits as “Lost In My Mind Again”, “Gates Of Loneliness” & “Life Can Be Beautiful“) was penned by Tom Tikka & Lappe Holopainen.
After Carmen Gray disbanded in 2013, Tikka formed his current group The Impersonators with poet Antti Autio. In 2017, The Impersonators signed with FBP Music Group, a German label based out of Frankfurt. Together with their producer Janne Saksa, The Impersonators have released tunes to rave reviews and a considerable amount of radio attention.
In 2020, Tikka began working with MTS Records and released a solo EP titled “Working Class Voodoo“.
With a ‘Cornershop’ meets ‘Frank and Walters’ esque bedroom swagger, ‘Tom Tikka and The Missing Hubcaps’ drop the Indie lockdown song ‘Working Class Voodoo’ – New Sound Express UK
When asked about the inspiration, meaning and message behind the melodic single, Tom Tikka said:
“Working Class Voodoo” was written as a response to a TV show I watched a while ago. The gist of the program was to discuss adventures people should engage in before they die. This was a program that was attempting to provide a recipe for ultimate happiness. At some point, roughly half an hour into the show, I realized that quite a few of the must-dos laid out were rather expensive, which made me smile a bit. I came to the conclusion that it seemed only wealthy people can afford happiness. This obviously ruled out the working classes altogether. I started laughing. To be fair, this wasn’t the message the show meant to portray but rather, my interpretation of it.
A few days after watching the program, I was at a store lining up to the cashier, while two construction workers behind me were conversing about how easy life would be if they were millionaires. One of them said he would build a house for his wife, making her happy finally; the other stated he would write and self-publish a book about the construction business – people would no doubt be lining up to get a copy. I couldn’t help wondering if there’d ever be a book. People who love writing usually write regardless of their financial status or lack of time. In addition, I also feel that no wife’s happiness is solely dependent on her husband’s standard of living.
All this made me think of a phrase my grandfather used to describe the dissatisfaction of the working classes and their tendency (or anybody’s for that matter) to phlegmatically complain about their shortcomings and society in general. As far as my grandfather was concerned, actions spoke louder than words. His attitude was that if you wanted to change something, you needed to complain less and do more. Hence he called the above sort of emancipation, “working class voodoo.”
The logic behind this phrase he had conjured up was that unlike real voodoo, working-class voodoo included no voodoo priests, black dolls or needles. Rather, it usually consisted of a group of angry and disappointed men, who used words as their needles and aimed these verbal daggers at people they felt were the undisputed sources of their misery. This list of cursed individuals usually consisted of their bosses, wives, politicians and other pillars of society.