Mastiff – New Album Coming in 2019

Group Shot July 2017

Words by Andrew Field

On Saturday 30th June Mastiff went into the studio to commence work on the follow up to 2017’s “BORK” EP. I’d been given glimpses of the new material by the band in the form of phone recordings sent to me via WhatsApp, so already knew I was likely to be handed something fairly nasty to release once recording was done. There had also been talk about maybe taking a bit longer over this one. I was led to believe that the end-of-June weekend was just the start.

Mastiff entered the studios around 9.45am on that 30th June day. At 4.11pm I got a message from Jim Hodge saying “80% done boss man”. At 4.17pm Phil Johnson messaged saying “tracks pretty much overdubbed”.

On Monday 2nd July at 6.57am they sent me the fully mixed and mastered album. It sounded absolutely fucking incredible.

That’s Mastiff right there. A fully formed, prepped, focused, disciplined machine.

So how does it sound? Frankly, like the end of the world. Eight tracks of pure nihilistic rage. Everything is amplified (sic): the slower bits are gnarlier, the faster bits grind harder, Michael Shepherd’s blast beats hurt your bowels more, Dan Dolby’s bass is right there in your face, and Jim Hodge’s vocals go to another world – somewhere primal, beyond feral, way past animalistic. And as for the twin guitar attack of Jam Lee and Phil Johnson…… well, rarely have I heard amps and cabs punished quite so brutally. They make Eyehategod sound like A-ha.

There is a track on the album called Until I Weep No More. It is going to be the heaviest thing I have released on APF so far. It is skull-crushing.

The current plan is to drop this bombshell on you in early 2019. Trust me when I tell you, it will be worth the wait.

Mastiff forever.





Summer 2018 Update

CDs year one

So we’ve been at this for just over a year now. Since APF Records first release – Under’s “Slick” album – hit the shelves on 31st May 2017 we’ve put out music by Diesel King, Blind Haze, Mastiff, Tronald, RedEye Revival, BongCauldron, Ba’al, The Wizards Of Delight, Desert Storm, The Hyena Kill, Pist, Trevor’s Head and Nomad. Not bad for 52 weeks eh?

For the first time in over 12 months we have a nice little pause before the release schedule cranks up again in the autumn. A time to recharge the batteries, reflect on that first year, and get the forthcoming new stuff manufactured and ready to batter your eardrums later in the year.

Next up from APF is a new Under album. Likely to hit the streets in late September it’s a 10 track beast which shows the Stockport trio taking a giant creative leap forward from “Slick”.


The riff which opens the album is jaw dropping. Simon Mayo’s guitar work throughout is some next level shit: alternating between filthy, strings-hanging-off-the-fret-board nastiness to moments of sublime and beautiful melancholy (and all points in between). Matt Franklin’s bass is guttural, and his howl even more frightening than before. Andy Preece’s drumming is immense. And when all three blend their voices into that signature Under harmony, its pure goosebumps.

What is clear with Under is this: the ‘First Attempt’ EP and ‘Slick’ were just these boys warming up. The new one isn’t just in a different league, its a whole different sport. Prepare to be amazed.

Barbarian Hermit

Also this autumn we’ll be releasing the debut album by Barbarian Hermit. Recorded in May at Skyhammer Studio by Chris Fielding, its a great big fat widescreen monolith. I had the pleasure of visiting the studio when work was in progress, and on the last evening of recording got to hear rough mixes. All the things you loved about Hermit on their February 2016 EP ’01’ are there – groove, swagger, riffs that could frighten a herd of angry bulls. But there is so much that is new, and it’s all good – from Ed Campbell’s gravel-inflected vocals to Spadge Fafner’s thrills of bass fancy to Gaz Manning’s sheer brutal power. The way the songs ebb and flow is different and thrilling, but they still contain the majestic Robertshaw / Regan six string mindfucking riffs you’d expect and want. The closing track is the very definition of the word “epic”. It’s a massive sounding record. You’re gonna dig it.

group pic

Before the end of the year APF will release a new Battalions album, their third after 2016’s “Nothing To Lose” and last year’s “Moonburn”. Over the last 12 months the Hullensian quartet have delivered some immense shows (including a UK tour with label mates Pist – which by some miracle they survived), whilst honing material for the new record.

One of the joys of owning a record label is getting WhatsApp messages from members of your bands ripping through the new songs in their rehearsal rooms. I’ve had several from Dennett and Mott of Battalions over the last few months so have watched the songs on the new record gestating. Fans will be pleased to know that Pete Cross continues to have a seemingly bottomless supply of swampy riffs which he can summon at ease – for The Fumb and Walker to pummel into submission. And Phil Wilkinson continues to be the only frontman who can look so cute yet make small children cry with his vocals. It’s all sounding ace. No babies have been thrown out with the bathwater. Its pure Battalions and it will make your arse move.

Several of our other bands are beavering away on new material. Pist have an album’s worth of songs written, and keep writing more. Their next release is gonna be a bit special. BongCauldron are recording something shortly – but I’m not saying what, or why yet (all will be revealed soon).

No one’s heard from Diesel King in a while. But that’s pretty usual.

This is just the beginning. Loads more coming from APF. Wish I had the time to tell you about it all. It’s all exciting.

See you at a show.


APF Records


John Nicholson of Pist: Pre-Tour Interview


Q: APF has just rereleased your debut EP “Riffology” and first album “Rhythm & Booze” as “68OFO”. What was the thinking behind this release?

John: They both sold out real quick and we’ve not had any in stock for ages. A lot of people were asking if we’ll be getting more and when, so it was a bit of a no brainer to combine the two and add some new artwork/packaging in there to mix it up a bit!

Q: You’re about to go on tour with Battalions. How did hooking up with them come about?

John: We all met up at Bloodstock last year and sunk many beers together, battered each other on bumper cars and had a right laugh. They understood our bullshit banter all weekend so decided we should do a tour. And.. they’re fucking mint.


Q: It’s a decent length tour. Any shows you’re particularly looking forward to, and why?

John: It’s tough to pick one because a bunch of mates’ bands have jumped on each date to support us and I can’t wait to see them all. I’m really looking forward to seeing the Drug Vulture debut in Manchester, I’ve heard some of the tunes.. you’re all in for a treat! I can’t wait for Edinburgh because it’s my favourite place in the UK and Bannermans is class, plus a bunch of people are coming up to celebrate Biscuit’s (BongCauldron) 30th so its gonna get messy!

Q: What’s your favourite tour story?

John: There’s a lot we can’t mention but here’s a few in a nutshell: Corky from BongCauldron pouring a 5L bottle of mixed piss out the window all over the M1 at 70 mph. It was funnier than it sounds. Dave shitting himself before we got to the first venue. Drinking 68 beers between Edinburgh and Glasgow. The whiskey thief from Birmingham leaving in an ambulance cos he couldn’t hack it. Me turning up so pissed in Coventry I thought our soundcheck was our set and told everyone we already played. We could write a book on tour stories alone.


Q: Which is the most annoying member of Pist on tour?

John: We’re all pretty annoying, but whoever doesn’t help load in/load out and just goes straight to the bar…. no names mentioned.

Q: When you look back on the last four years, what’s been the highs and lows of being in Pist?

John: Highs are definitely releasing Rhythm & Booze and playing Bloodstock 2015. HRH Doom V Stoner was pretty up there and confirming for Desertfest, I’ve wanted PIST on that since the band started. Lows are just how much money it can cost, we know everyone goes through that though, it’s just part of being in a band. It’s also pretty stressful booking a tour and you sometimes feel like giving up but it worked out pretty well in the end.

Q: Looking forward to Desertfest? Who else are you excited about seeing on that lineup?

John: I can’t fucking wait! It’s my first Desertfest and I’ll be there all weekend! So many bands to look forward to but top 3 are probably ASG, Eyehategod and Elder.


Q: Congrats on your Blackstar endorsement. How did that come about? And why them?

John: I used one when I played Bloodstock in a previous band and it blew me away, so I bought one shortly after. Then I noticed my mate Josh from Bloodshot Dawn recently got endorsed so I got some advice from him, sent them an email and they said yes! Didn’t expect anything to be honest.

Q: You’re working on a new Pist album for APF. Give us an update on how that’s progressing.

John: We’re a couple of songs away from finishing it but it’s a huge improvement on previous releases. It’s more a mix of styles which may throw people off but we all think it works really well. We’re playing a handful on this tour so come hear it!

Q: What will it say on your gravestone?

John: 68 OFObag

Pist’s 68OFO is out now and available to buy from

Catch them on their UK tour:

30th March – Liverpool EBGBs

31st March – Edinburgh Bannermans

1st April – Leeds Temple of Boom

2nd April – Nottingham The Chameleon

3rd April – Hull Gorilla Studios

4th April – Manchester The Peer Hat

5th April – Huddersfield The Parish

6th April – London The Dev

7th April – Coventry The Phoenix


Trevor’s Head – Soma Holiday – Presales Open



“Soma Holiday”


Release date 30th April 2018

Available on Digipak CD, as a digital download and in a CD / T-Shirt Bundle


“Trevor’s Head present chunky, stoner riffage from the deepest darkest recesses of Redhill, Surrey. Every song has plenty of powerful grit and the pace picks up with punky, driving aggression, all wrapped up in warm desert-fuzz tone.” – DESERTFEST

“A band unwilling to stay confined within the boundaries of a specific genre or sound and who in making this stance have created their own genre and sound. Get inside Trevor’s Head, it’s a great place to be!” – DESERT PSYCHLIST

“As their track record suggests, Trevor’s Head seem locked in a state of perpetual evolution and experimentation and, for that, they have to be lauded.” – THE SLUDGELORD

“The perfect mix of Stoner, Blues, Grunge, Desert Rock and Hard Rock with soulful vocals to match” – OUTLAWS OF THE SUN


Trevor’s Head is a thick, greasy fondue of stoner rock, punk and grunge from a landfill town in the London commuter belt called Redhill. Their sound has evolved over the years, from fresh-faced hard rock to that of unhealthy British men who yearn for the desert. All three members share vocal duties over blistering fuzz guitar bolstered by a robust rhythm section. 

Their second LP, “Tricolossus”, was released in February 2016. The band’s first offering as a trio, it marked their shift in sound and paved the way for an expedition into further sonic growth. 

Trevor’s Head have pursued a relentless gigging schedule for the last four years, their work ethic as a live band garnering praise among promoters and bands on the UK underground scene. With a constant presence in England and a European tour under their belts, they are now coming for the rest of the U.K. and beyond.

This live work has seen Trevor’s Head rewarded with support slots with Radio Moscow, Greenleaf, Desert Storm, Morass Of Molasses, Vodun, Elephant Tree, Slabdragger and Church Of The Cosmic Skull among others. In May this year the trio are playing their biggest gig yet, at Desertfest London.


Fans can now pre-order the Exclusive Limited Edition CD and T-Shirt bundle version. Only 30 of these bundles have been manufactured, and are only available to buy direct from APF Records via our Big Cartel and Bandcamp sites.  

Bundle – Big Cartel

CD – Big Cartel

Digital Download

Catalogue number APF009

Desert Storm: Interview with Chris White


On 16th March Desert Storm’s “Sentinels” is released on vinyl, CD and digital download, their fifth album following Desert Storm (2008), Forked Tongues (2010), Horizontal Life (2013) and Omniscient (2014). In advance of its release we caught up with guitarist Chris White for a chat.

APF: For those not in the know, tell us how Desert Storm got together ten years ago.

Chris: We are all friends from school. Myself, Elliot (Cole, drums) and Ryan (Cole, guitar) were in a previous band that finished, so from there we got in touch with Matt (Ryan, vocals) and Chris (Benoist, bass) to form a new band. From there we never looked back!

APF: Tell us about the recording of Sentinels. Any tales from the sessions?

Chris: The sessions for this album actually started 2 years ago. We recorded a selection of songs at Flesh & Bone studios in Hackney over the course of weekend sessions over a period of around 6 months. It was later that year that we wrote ‘Journeys End’, then felt that it really needed to be on the album. So in February 2017 we booked more sessions at Woodworm Studios in Oxford to record the song to round off the album. So it has been a long process to get to this point!


APF: Sentinels is distinctly darker and heavier than previous releases. Was this something you went for deliberately?

Chris: I think our style has evolved a lot over the past two to three years. As we were gathering material for our previous album Omniscient, we felt that we were starting to favour the darker more progressive sound over the more classic rock influences or our earlier work. That album had a wide range of musical styles present, so with Sentinels we wanted to focus on our heavier side, but still keep the blues influences that allow us to keep the groove in our music.

APF: Which of the new songs are you most proud of, and why?  

Chris: I think Kingdom of Horns is a song we are all very proud of. I think it marks another evolution of our band stylistically, as we have a song that is both heavy and dynamic at the same time.

APF: Looking back at your previous releases, which one is your favourite?  

Chris: I think Horizontal Life is an album we look back on with pride. It was the first album of ours that really started to get some acclaim in the UK, and I think it really helped to create a platform for us going forward. Plus there are plenty of current live favourites from that album too!


APF: What’s your aspirations with this band at this stage of your career? Any unfulfilled ambitions with it?

Chris: We really want to bring our music to as many people as possible. We are pushing to tour as much as we can, hopefully this album will get the critical acclaim to bring us to the attention of metal fans across the UK and Europe.

APF: What’s your favourite city or venue to play? And are there any places you’ve not gigged yet but would like to?  

Chris: The USA has been a long term ambition for us to tour in, as musically the US and UK share so much heritage that it feels like a rite of passage for British bands to make the trip over the Atlantic. It’s difficult to suggest a favourite city to play, but hometown shows in Oxford still feel special as we are playing to fans who supported us from the beginning.

APF: What’s the best and worst things about being on the road?

Chris: The best thing is being able to do the thing that you love full time, as it’s something that most bands really aspire to do. The worst thing is the long hours sat in the van smelling whatever awful food Elliot or Ryan bought from the previous petrol station.


APF: How do you manage juggling having jobs and touring so often? Is it a difficult balance?  

Chris: It is difficult as we all have very busy lives away from the band, so aligning 5 people to be in the same place at the same time is always a challenge. At the end of the day we love doing it, we may have missed a few birthdays along the way but unfortunately it’s sometimes a price you have to pay.

APFL You’ve joined a label which now has 16 bands on the roster. Which is your favourite of the other bands on APF Records and why? Be honest haha, the other 15 won’t be offended. Probably.

Chris: Well we have been friends with Diesel King for many years and have done plenty of gigs with them, so it’s great that we are now part of the same family with APF Records!

Desert Storm’s “Sentinels” is available to pre-order now from:


Trevor’s Head Sign to APF Records


“Trevor’s Head present chunky stoner riffage from the deepest darkest recesses of Redhill, Surrey. Every song has plenty of powerful grit and the pace picks up with punky, driving aggression, all wrapped up in warm desert-fuzz tone. ” – DESERTFEST

“The perfect mix of Stoner, Blues, Grunge, Desert Rock and Hard Rock with soulful vocals to match” – OUTLAWS OF THE SUN

“As their track record suggests, (Trevor’s Head) seem locked in a state of perpetual evolution and experimentation, and for that, they have to be lauded.” – THE SLUDGELORD

 “A band unwilling to stay confined within the boundaries of a specific genre or sound and who in making this stance have created their own genre…. Get inside Trevor’s Head – it’s a great place to be!” – PSYCHLIST

Trevs 6

A warm welcome to our latest signing, Redhill rockers Trevor’s Head. APF Records will be releasing their new album “Soma Holiday” on 30th April 2018, just in time for their performance at this year’s Desertfest London. “Soma Holiday” contains 13 genre defying (and genre defining) songs which, whilst rooted in stoner rock, take the listener on a journey through moments of grunge, punk, indie rock, hardcore, early Neil Young, ska, country, prog and much more besides. We caught up with drummer Matt Ainsworth before the campaign begins.

Welcome to the APF family. How you feeling?

Pretty damn good! We’re only two months into the year and some really cool stuff is happening for us as a band.

For those not in the know, tell us how Trevor’s Head got together and what you’ve achieved so far?

Trevor’s Head started up as a bunch of mates who met in college about 10 years ago, we’ve had a couple of lineup changes over time, but it settled nicely into the trio that it is now in 2014. So far, we’ve self released two albums, two EPs, played over four hundred gigs and grown as songwriters and performers. Now we’re on APF.

What’s the best gig you’ve ever played and what made it special?

The launch party we had for the release of our last album, “Tricolossus”, was something pretty special. The place was rammed, there was toilet paper flying everywhere, there were stage invasions, crates of beer were being passed around, Roger ended up inside the ceiling after removing part of it… it was just a greasy, mental gig. The audience was awesome and so were the support bands, who are all good mates of ours… Cavalli, Junkyard Choir, and Danny Dangerously. Check ‘em all out!


Tell us about the recording of Soma Holiday. Any tales from the sessions?

The recording itself was quite intensive. Foel Studio is in an extremely remote area in Wales, so there aren’t very many distractions! We laid down the basic tracks live, then overdubbed the vocals, some of the lead guitar parts and all the extra stuff like synths and fire extinguishers. We binged pretty hard one night and ended up doing our own take on country music till past dawn, but that hasn’t gotten on the record…

Which of the new songs are you most proud of, and why?

There’s a track called “Sleepstate” which is one of the most ambitious things we’ve done so far, there’s a lot of different layers in there, particularly the middle parts. “Ghost” is another one. Heavy, spacey and punky. We’re proud of the record as a whole, though.

You’re booked to play this year’s Desertfest London, which is quite a coup! Nervous? Which other bands on the lineup are you looking forward to seeing?

Nervous? Us? Haha, maybe a little! The reality’s kind of only just dawned on us! It’s going to be a right blast. Really looking forward to catching Black Moth, Church Of Misery, Zeke, Casual Nun, Graveyard, Tuskar, Pist, Morass Of Molasses, Hawkwind… Could just reel off the whole lineup, couldn’t we?

Reveal something about Trevor’s Head you’ve never talked about in public before?

 Nothing to say that hasn’t already been said, really. Apart from Aaron’s crippling dependency on fried chicken. But that’s pretty dark, man. You don’t want to hear about that.

Trevs 7

What’s your aspirations with this band? Where would you like to be in 5 years time?

Still gigging our arses off and having a great time of it! We’d also like to have made a few more records that we’re really proud of, too. The continuing development of us as a band as well as a bunch of mates is really rewarding.

What’s your favourite venue to play? And any places you’ve not gigged in but would like to?

The Bird’s Nest in Deptford seems to have become our spiritual home over the last couple of years, we’ve been putting on monthly stoner/doom/sludge/psych nights there and it’s always an awesome time. Great bar staff, sound man and audience. Totally run for the music. We’d like to get more shows up north… Sheffield, Leeds and Nottingham are some places we haven’t been to yet.

You’ve joined a label which now has 16 bands on the roster. Which is your favourite of the bands on APF Records and why?

Probably have to go with Under or Desert Storm. They’re both fucking class bands and really good guys to boot. We’re looking forward to being part of the family!

Finally, anything to declare?

We fucking love your label, mate.

Soma Holiday

APF Showcase Interviews: The Final One

It’s been ace talking to members of the 14 bands playing the APF Records Showcase at The Bread Shed this Saturday. Wrapping things up, we pinned down Matt Walker from Battalions, Elliot Cole of Desert Storm, The Hyena Kill’s Steven Dobb and Ba’al frontman Steffan Benham for a few final words.

APF: What was your highlight of 2017?

Elliot: Well getting to tour Europe again was great. We always have a great time and it’s always fun going back to cities we have played before as well as playing new places. 2017 was also the 10th anniversary of the band, so playing a sold out hometown show for that occasion was also pretty special. It was nice to play a lot of old songs from our first couple of albums again, because they rarely get played live anymore.

Dobb: It has to be playing 2000 Trees festival. The line up was killer.

Steffan: For me personally it was putting out our EP into the world. It was the first time I had been in a band that put a record out, and to have it released through APF Records was the icing on the cake. With the record release show on the same day with so many people there was definitely a high point. Also we never expected the reaction that we’ve received.

Mott: I reckon it’s gotta be playing Bloodstock, such an amazing experience and we had an amazing time over the full weekend.


APF: As a member of your band what’s your proudest achievement so far?

Elliot: For me, I would have to say my proudest achievement so far would be playing Bloodstock Festival on the Sophie Lancaster Stage in 2016. That was definitely the biggest festival we have played. Just being on the same line up as bands such as Mastodon and Slayer was amazing.

Dobb: I think, not killing each other. Doing the debut album was really special and was a definite milestone for us. Getting it mastered at Abbey Road and going down for the day was class. We got properly shitfaced in Camden after.

Steffan: Coming this far I’d say. Since we started we have worked so hard to become a known band. We’ve had to play gig after gig and sacrifice so much that making it to this point now has made it all worth while.

Mott: Signing to APF records is probably the proudest moment so far, we can’t wait to get our 3rd album recorded and out there for people to hear.

group pic

APF: Which of your label mates are you most looking forward to seeing at the 3rd February APF Records Showcase, and why?

Elliot: Ahhh man that is a tough question. I really like all the bands that are playing so I am looking forward to seeing everyone! 

Dobb: Under and Tronald. I fucking love them guys. They make weird as fuck music and they just nail it every time. Sexual grooves and just utter filth all round.

Steffan: I’ll be honest and say a lot of as some I’ve not been able to see live yet. But Under will always be a highlight if they’re playing a show.

Mott: All of them are amazing bands. Pist and Bongers are always outstanding live so I’m looking forward to seeing them again.

APF: What’s the best gig you’ve ever played?

Elliot: Either Bloodstock Festival, Or the first Desertfest we played in London in 2012. Those gigs were a lot of fun!

Dobb: Supporting Max and Igor Cavalera at Kentish Town Forum. That was a belting gig. They were doing the Roots album in full.

Steffan: Our record release show in November for me. Not only was it an opportunity to show the tracks from the EP in their true form, but also to be able to play some old material for the people that have been with us from the start. And the fact that the place was rammed.

Mott: Our headline set at Hull’s Humber Street Sesh was pretty special for us as it’s our hometown and the crowd was mental. Chunk and Lottie’s birthday gig was one of my favourites too, probably the most fun set I’ve ever played. We had our old guitarist Clatch play a song with us as well as John from Pist which was real good fun.

The Hyena Kill (Press Photo)
APF: What are your plans for 2018?

Elliot: 2018 looks like it will be a busy year for us. Our new album ‘Sentinels’ gets released on 16th March, and we plan to tour that album heavily in the UK and throughout Europe. We also have a lot of festivals confirmed such as HRH Stoner vs Doom in Sheffield and Riff Fest in Bolton which will be great! 

Dobb: To release our brand new EP ‘Spun’ on 23rd April and tour the fuck out of it.

Steffan: Make more smart decisions for the band’s future. Continue to write material that proves we deserve the praise we have received and get in front of people we have not yet had the chance to.

Mott: We’ve got a 7 day tour booked with Pist which is gonna be pretty special and if we manage to survive that we have album number three set for release in summer as well as a couple of other tours in the pipeline.

APF: Tell us something we don’t know about you or your band?

Elliot: Well me and my brother Ryan who plays guitar in Desert Storm are twins…

Dobb: When we first started we were a three piece but our bass player fucked it off so we carried on.

Steffan: Our pre gig ritual is telling each other what band shirt we are wearing on stage, as we all have the same shirts.

Mott: I once drank 6 bottles of Buckfast and shit my pants.

APF: Anything to declare?

Elliot: Nope.

Dobb: Sleep when you’re dead, don’t eat nowt bigger than your head.

Steffan: I’m a diva and my band deserve a medal for dealing with my shit.

Mott: I fucking love your label.

Showcase RGB