The Making of “Safe From Silence”


Dirk Hanekom Vocalist for Colour Cold shares some thoughts on the creation of the bands debut release.


I think it was Frank Zappa that said “Sometimes, writing about music is like dancing to architecture”. I couldn’t agree more. It’d be easy to describe the making of our album in purely techno-istic jingo; Two weeks recording with another week for polishing, and two months of mixing sessions slotted in between work, practice and the rest of the daily bullshit that gets in the way of what we love doing most, namely making music. So with that in mind, I’ll share my fondest recollections of making “Safe From Silence” with as little technical crap like sample-rates and layers and drop-ins as is humanly possible.

We started on a beautiful August morning, moving our gear into MARS Studios, and spent the rest of the day getting a basic rough sound for the whole band, where we could play together as a band without being separated into single little boxes where each of us would have to play individually on our own. This setup made for a much more relaxed vibe whilst recording and I have to say that I was particularly grateful for that. We spent the first week laying down basic tracks, with the rhythm section going first (meaning that we still played together, but with more emphasis on Dirk and Tiaan), and then the same with me and Liz. After the basic tracks had been laid, Liz went wild with her guitar parts, nailing them either first time, or only after take 1 million. Whichever the case, I think she did a brilliant job, and her ‘voice’ on guitar really is one of the outstanding things about our album. Then it was down to me, my vocal chords, an isolated room and headphones.

Here I have to give a huge shout out to Malcolm Aberdein, producer and head poohbah of MARS Studios. He was not only our producer on this album, but also a mentor and more importantly a friend. Malcolm helped me reach places deep inside of myself and thus helped me make my voice soar to places I didn’t think it could reach. Colour Cold was very lucky to have been able to work with someone so dedicated and passionate…and that’s the short of it. The long would take more space than I have here, and besides, the amount of energy, tenacity and downright criminal fun we had with making Safe From Silence would be hard to bring across properly, however long there is to talk about it. I hope whoever is reading this will have a good time with our album, and if our music can make you crack even the faintest of smiles, or frowns depending on your demeanor, then our job has been done well. I’m never good at endings, so I’ll close this off with a thank you to our fans, who are the very soul of what we do, and the top 5 things I learned while making this album:

5. Making breakfast for your band gives you at least 2 extra hours in the day before your nerves start to get frazzled…

4. if your guitar has earthing problems (here’s the only place I’ll get technical) then take a standard guitar cable, cut off one end, attach that to the bridge of your guitar and the other end attached somewhere on your person and viola! No more earthy-hiss…

3. Laugh every now and again.

2. if your producers three year old starts bouncing on the carpet when you play a track, that’s a good sign.

1. As terribly clichéd as this sounds, never give up. The next take might just be the one you’ve been waiting for.


Thanks and Peace. D 

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