Tom Tikka and The Missing Hubcaps just released their new EP "Working Class Voodoo" and to celebrate we asked Tom to tell us about the title track. Here is the story:
"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.
To be honest, I'm not entirely sure I agree with my grandfather's analogy. For starters, I don't really believe in stereotypes. In addition, I'm of the opinion that what he said about the working classes is true for the entire mankind, regardless of their social standing. That's what people do: they complain. Be that as it may, I always did find the phrase "working class voodoo" very cool - a great little title for a rock song. So, finally, nearly 35 years after I'd heard the phrase for the first time, I finally turned it into a song, a song that in this case pretty much wrote itself. The words and the melody came to me in just one sitting. To add some punch to the lyrics, I took quite a few ideas from the TV show I had watched -visiting Louvre was just one of the steps to contentment.
Hearing is believing. Now that you know the story behind the song, listen and watch for yourself below