Tom Tikka, The Impersonators 3QS054
Tommi Tikka, of the Impersonators, takes his second turn at 3 Questions and a Song
- I recently watched a documentary on Robert Johnson, which brings me to ask you… if you were standing at a crossroads and the Devil offers you whatever you want in return for your soul, what would you do?
- You mentioned that your album, Life of Grant, is a concept album, can you tell us about the concept?
- Have you ever thought considered writing jingles for songs for the opening of tv shows? asked by Cultt of She on episode 53.
About the Song, Scarlett Hell
This is a very difficult song to get into for me. It’s obvious to anyone reading the lyrics that “Scarlet Hell” is about prostitution, or more specifically the dark side of prostitution that can include human trafficking, sexual slavery, drugs and occasionally…even murder. As the music video depicts, sometimes people who buy sex from the wrong prostitute, end up in a cardboard box. In case it doesn’t become clear that this song is anti-prostitution for all the aforementioned reasons, then I’ll make point about saying it clearly: this is an anti-prostitution song.
Musically, “Scarlet Hell” is one of my favorite Impersonators tracks. Our producer Janne Saksa and I worked very hard on the arrangement. I like the Latin, Santana-feel the song has and also the solo, which was played completely off the cuff, is one of my better ones, I think. Recorded roughly a year and a half ago, this was the time I was seriously getting into wah wah, which has now become a bit of a trademark for me. Another favorite moment on the song is the outro with its vocal harmonies and adlibbed lead vocals.
I was listening to “Scarlet Hell” in the kitchen this morning, when my six-year-old son walked in, asking for cereal.
“Is this you singing, Daddy?” he asked.
“It is,” I told him proudly.
“It’s not very good,” my son exlaimed.
I didn’t know how to respond to his comment. He caught me completely by surprise. He noticed this and was for a moment scared that he had hurt my feelings. Hence, he continued, “But I like it much better than the music you had on before. What was that?”
“That was The Eagles,” I said with a smile. “It’s a legendary group, Darling,” I kept talking.
“Are they as legendary as KSI?” he asked.
Knowing KSI is his big brothers’ favorite YouTuber, I stroke his hair and said, “Probably not.” One day, he’ll find out.
About the Impersonators
Genre: Indie Rock
Time flies! And yet I can remember it all like yesterday. I was on my couch in Helsinki, looking out the window, down in the dumps, freshly divorced and also recovering from the break-up of Carmen Gray, a band whose entire catalog I had written with my brother Lappe Holopainen. Gone was the support of Sony/BMG and Warner. I was flat on my ass and clueless. I thought about hanging up my six-string. Maybe it was time. A tear rolled down my cheek. Just then my phone beeped. It was a text from a friend of mine, one Antti Autio.
The text was a poem titled “Ghost Town Radio”. It was absolutely brilliant. I ran to my bedroom, got my acoustic guitar and wrote a melody to Antti’s lines. It was like lightning had struck. Before this moment, Antti was a guy I had met at the university, a chap I was swapping records with (he too was a music fanatic). But with that text and that song, we became blood brothers of sorts, songwriter buddies, soul mates and two halves of a duo called The Impersonators.
And now finally, after many turns on this winding road called life, we are releasing our first full-length album titled Life Of Grant. Oddly enough, the song that began it all isn’t on this album. You’ll have to wait for that one for a bit. Be that as it may, I hope you enjoy these eleven courses that our secret weapon, producer Janne Saksa has prepared for you. Bon appétit!