Interview: Catching Up with Alf Dmello

Alfred Dmello a.k.a. Alf Dmello is not new to the music scene. After pioneering in the rock scene with the popular act Mizmaar, Alf has gone on to work with musicians as diverse and popular as Atif Aslam and more. 

Alf Dmello with Atif Aslam

Drumming is more than just an art - it is a fine science that he has mastered. From laying down the beats that flourish into becoming a foundation for the rest of the band to making them groovy enough to make the listeners air drum - Alf can leave you mesmerised at any given day. This Eid, we decided to get in touch with Alf Dmello for an interview to talk about his life as a musician, future plans, and so much more.   

You started your career at a very young age. How has the journey been in the professional circuit?

Well I started professionally at the age of 16 or 17 with Mizmaar, in a place like Pakistan if I have survived all these years just doing music, I consider myself blessed. Thank God.

You have played with some of the most decorated stars of the industry. With whom did you enjoy the most?

I’ve enjoyed playing for Atif Aslam the most reason being the level of shows that we do all over the
world and also as a band we’ve become good friends over the past 4 years.

Mizmaar was one of the finest rock bands in Pakistan. Can we expect a return with new releases?

Not sure on that as of now. But never say never!

Speaking of Mizmaar, the vocalists have changed regularly. Who was the best vocalist for the band in your opinion?

Commercially Mashad’s voice worked well for us. The song ‘Jee Lounga” became a instant hit but he had other priorities. I think Asad’s vocal capabilities are insane considering he is self-taught and his vocals grow on you as you keep listening to the songs he has sung. My experience working with Asad has been the best because he is a team player and a really cool person.

Is there any reunion on the cards?

In order to run a band in today's era, I feel it needs full focus. It is not like before where you would do a music video of a decent song and you make it big. It needs consistency and a lot of marketing and a lot of time and we are all so busy doing other projects to survive, doing music that we don't get the time. But I’d love to.

Drummers are the backbone for any band. What’s the reason they are not given the recognition that they deserve, especially in Pakistan?

I don't think that's true. I think every good drummer in our country has a decent gig going for himself. A musician can not choose to be into session playing and expect the kind of exposure he/she would get
being in their own band, unless the artist you are working with decides to give you that exposure (which
I have been very fortunate and blessed to have). I think there is nothing to complain about. This is how it has always been all around the world. ( The documentary “Hired Gun” is a great insight to this).

Have you ever planned of starting online classes to share your knowledge and experience with the new generation?

Yes, I have started online classes and anyone who wishes to learn drums can contact me on my Facebook or Instagram page. I'm covering all levels of drumming to the best that I can, also on how to be a good studio musician/session musician and how to develop aesthetics of drumming.

Can you name your musical inspirations?

I get inspired by anything that sounds good to my ears anything with amazing groove; and inspirations
keep adding up from time to time as you get better as a musician. Always been a big fan of Dave Weckl, Simon Phillips, Dennis Chambers, Benny Greb, Larnel Lewis, Jeff Porcaro, Eric Moore, and the list goes on..

Which young drummer from Pakistan do you like the most and why?

Huzaifa Nadeem, Aaron Daniel (Ali Sethi) and Bezlial Albert (Natasha Baig). I like them because I think they have the spark/fire that a musician should have, that I had and still have till today, and I wish them all the best.

Alf Dmello

What are the current projects that you are working on?

Currently nothing, in quarantine and trying to be the best version of myself in every way. However, I am looking into starting a instrumental line up with like minded and dedicated musicians.

A lot of music shows are happening in Pakistan. Which one do you personally like?

Honestly, I like bit of all of the shows, Coke Studio gave some really good songs over the years (initial Rohail Hayat days and Strings). I really love what Bigfoot is doing, and of course Acoustic Station; I've been a part of 3 songs in Season 1. It was a great experience.

Where do you see yourself in the next 5-10 years?

I’d like to be doing music happily as I do now, for as long as I can.

Please give a message for your fans.

Thank you for your love and support. Keep making music and always be positive.