APF Records: Resistance Is Futile
Andrew Field has been a dedicated supporter of underground metal for a long time, but why now has he decided to launch his own record label? He reveals all to MR...
Words: Phil Weller
Andrew Field is no stranger to the Manchester metal scene. A firm supporter and champion of underground bands, he has recently launched his own record label in APF Records. Here is a man who knows the scene like Donald Trump knows tax evasion, willing to put his hand in his pocket and offer the financial and promotional support quintessential for any band with a release they want the world to hear.
With seven bands already signed and three more on the way – all bands with releases on the way – we sat down with the Andrew to ask, just why exactly have you set up your own record label?
“Me? I'm just a big old fan of music. I'm in my mid-40s now but have been passionate about hard rock and heavy metal since stumbling across my first love (Rush) in the 1980s. I turned to stoner rock with Kyuss, doom with Trouble and sludge with Helmet in the early 1990s, and my taste has gotten ever more downtuned with each passing year.
“As is often the way, a serious relationship ending in 2014 led to me properly immerse myself in the healing power of the riff. I started going to as many gigs as I could and got to know a load of bands in the stoner/doom/sludge scene in the UK. A common complaint with the bands was either "our record company doesn't look after us" or "we can't find an indie label which will sign and understand us". So I thought I'd do it myself. I had wanted to be in the record business since my teens, and in early 2017 I decided to realise my dream.
“I was lucky to have some great friends in the industry who were happy to mentor me as I set things up - notably Leigh Jones of Riff Rock Records (Vodun, Chubby Thunderous), Chris West of Superhot Records (Trippy Wicked, Stubb) and Jay Ackerman of Hevisike Records (Space Witch, Morass of Molasses). Then I just spoke to all the bands I love and was lucky that several were without a label at that time.
“The first band to sign with me was Under, who I have known for a couple of years. I loved their first self-released EP and they were putting on ever more incendiary shows. APF released their debut album Slick on 31st May and it’s a thing of beauty.”
“I have been friends with drummer Jason Hope for four years and was lucky enough to sign both his bands, BongCauldron and Blind Haze. BongCauldron’s debut album Binge is coming out in the autumn. Blind Haze’s second EP The Bastard is out in the summer, definitely before they perform at the Bloodstock Festival.
“APF also has Hull noise merchants Mastiff, who I first met when they literally begged to play at my birthday in 2016. I’m so glad they were persistent because they levelled the venue, an astonishing live band. So when they approached me about signing to APF it was always going to be a "Yes!". We are putting out their second release Bork in October.
“The label has four other bands signed but I'll hold off talking about them until we announce them over the coming months.”
One of those bands is gas-guzzling sludge metal monsters Diesel King.
“In all, APF Records has two goals:
1. Be a label that the finest UK up-and-coming hard rock, sludge, doom and stoner bands want to sign to. We will make our label attractive by treating the bands well, promoting them strongly through grass roots campaigns, and paying them a healthy royalty on time.
2. To release only extraordinary albums and EPs by bands that those of us behind APF are passionate about. If the music doesn't give us goosebumps, we won't be releasing it."