Pulcher Femina

Masterful, melancholy synth and electropop from Italy. Toss in production from our pal Volker Lutz of T.O.Y./Evil’s Toy fame and you got some of the best synthpop going today, and a CD that has gotten me purely addicted! This is an interview with the ever kindhearted Roberto, on everything from synthpop to Pizza and love.

Chain D.L.K.: So, first off tell us a bit about yourself, hobbies, likes, dislikes, and your musical history before Pulcher Femina.
Pulcher Femina: I’m 30 years old and, of course, music is my passion. I have been playing keyboard since I was a child. My “Icons” in music are bands like Depoche Mode (my first love), Kraftwerk and many others from eighties. What I want from music is that it touches my heart in a way that is too complex to explain here (but I’m sure that anyone that fell in love with music knows what I mean). At the present I listen to several kind of music genres but the “alchemy” that I prefer is a mixture of both powerful & dramatic elements. This is what I like. What I dislike is a world full of hate and solitude and a God that seems to have forgotten the human race (human disgrace. . ). . Perhaps this is the reason why I tell about love in my songs, it is for me the most important thing in life. Often listening to music my sensations reach further and I feel to be a better person, (I don’t know if it’s true). It’s like seeing a movie which moves us to tears, while in the real life our hearts are harder…

Chain D.L.K.: What does the name Pulcher Femina mean and where did the name come from?
Pulcher Femina: I heard this name in a “B” movie. It’s the name of a flower (a rose; written in Latin) painted in the “Birth of Venus” by Botticelli. In this painting the flowers mean “female beauty & harmony”. Perhaps I wanted to put in my band a “pure” element starting from the name…

Chain D.L.K.: Is the “Femina” part in any way in relation to the use of female vocals or feminine spirit?
Pulcher Femina: At the beginning this was the intention: ethereal & electro sound with a female heavenly voice and a male distorted one. After a few years I decided to change in a more synth-pop oriented style, but the female presence is still here (maybe ‘cause it’s often the target of my lyrics). For me the “feminine spirit” is something unreal, something we’re searching for through our hearts (and not eyes. . ). .

Chain D.L.K.: What got you into Synthpop?
Pulcher Femina: Volker Lutz of course! No, I’m joking. Working with him (he was the mastermind of Evil’s Toy – now he’s T. O. Y.!!!) during the production of “Shadows Of The Lovers” I wanted to give to my music a more powerful beat and dreaming synth sounds and you can definitely hear the result of our efforts! I really love the way in which synth-pop style expresses itself: clean voices with a ton of synths and melodies!…

Chain D.L.K.: Did you have a past musical infatuation before synthpop, like industrial or techno?
Pulcher Femina: I think that for everyone is natural to listen to a lot of different kind of music; for me it’s the same. When I was younger I listened to both “Metallica” and “Ultravox”! When I read the interviews of artists in music magazines I used to love questions like: “What are you listening in you car stereo? ! ”. If you ask to me the same question I may answer: “when I drive I take with me artists like Diary of Dreams, Monolith, [: SITD: ], Mesh, Angels & Agony, Backlash and so on…My infatuation is for all kinds of music. Perhaps I do synthpop, ‘cause this is what I do, ehm…better…!

Chain D.L.K.: In your words how would you describe “Shadows of The Lovers” for those who have (unfortunately) not heard it? What separates it from other modern synthpop artists of today, such as Beborn Beton?
Pulcher Femina: Fortunately the world of music is so big that is impossible to listen to every existing bands. I know the name Beborn Beton but I never heard their music…I can describe “SOTL” like a CD full of melodies, electronic sounds, dancing beats, and eighties voices, with a kaleidoscope of feelings: from melancholy to happiness through a wall of synths! !

Chain D.L.K.: How did you meet the beautiful and talented Daniela Bruno, who is featured on the CD?
Pulcher Femina: Daniela sings in a band called Miriam (from my same label) where her sweet voice is really perfect! Unfortunately during the recording sessions I stopped collaborating with my old singer Anna Cerichelli who decided to leave the band. Daniela is a friend to start with and when I asked her to help me for the CD she was happy.

Chain D.L.K.: What made you decide she would be good for the CD on doing female vocals?
Pulcher Femina: I needed a soft and sweet female voice: she was perfect! I consider hers a “breathing voice”, so warm and heavenly…

Chain D.L.K.: Is she a permanent member or just a temporary member for the moment being?
Pulcher Femina: I’m sorry, but she isn’t a permanent member of PF. Her band project “Miriam” has the priority!

Chain D.L.K.: With a new keyboardist in PF, will you be taking care of additional keyboards or just concentrating on vocal work? Or is she a live keyboardist?
Pulcher Femina: She is a live keyboardist. I think that for everyone who create his own music in a studio the live show is a bit difficult. Often people don’t understand how difficult it is (impossible is a better word! ) to bring on stage the same equipment of the recording session. For this reason a lot of electro musician use a dat tape or something similar for the “core” of their music (which is pre-recorded on the tape. . ). with additional live musicians (keyboards, rhythm-pads, guitars. . ). . I have the same problem and I’ve chosen the same solution! !

Chain D.L.K.: Why the title “Shadows Of The Lovers”?
Pulcher Femina: Love is like a brilliant sun which shines on the lovers…but when a love ends only the shadow remains…

Chain D.L.K.: I have read where the group is wrongly put into the futurepop category (which to me does not exist at all). What are your feelings on the ‘futurepop’ craze and being labeled as such?
Pulcher Femina: For a start I am ignorant! My opinion is that “futurepop” is a category born for bands like VNV Nation and Apoptygma Berzerk. Perhaps there was the need to create a new genre for bands too “sweet” for entering the electro-goth category but too “electro” for being called synth or technopop…It’s only a label: it is not a problem…

Chain D.L.K.: What are some influences behind Pulcher Femina?
Pulcher Femina: I’m influenced by the music of the present and the music of the past. When I hear a beautiful song I try to understand what I really like about it and I try to keep it for my music.

Chain D.L.K.: Any plan to tour America and show us what real synthpop is like?
Pulcher Femina: To play in America would be great. If someone called me for this I will be very happy for the opportunity to see this great country (I formed my opinion on America only from movies and TV). And for sure: I’ll do my best to have a good time with Americans.

Chain D.L.K.: Did you intend the ambient aspect of the music or did it just come alongside the synth patterns?
Pulcher Femina: Every time I play with my synths I try to move myself…In the beginning of a song I often use a simple sound (like strings or piano) and I wait for the good harmony and inspiration. After that I start with the electronic arrangements with bass lines and rhythm section. The voice line is sometimes born at the beginning or sometimes at the end of this process…

Chain D.L.K.: Who is pictured on the cover and inside the lyric sheet of the CD? I keep thinking the girl on the front is wearing coral rock or something like that!
Pulcher Femina: She’s Francesca, the keyboardist. The “coral rock” in real is aluminium foil for food! ! I always look for a cover model to bring beauty to the layout…and, of course, she’s perfect! !

Chain D.L.K.: Any plans on Volker Lutz doing more than just producing for the group? That would be a very interesting mix, to see you and members of TOY working together!
Pulcher Femina: Unfortunately we haven’t got any plans for the future. I don’t know when, but I’m sure that we will work together again. It’s a big pleasure for me to work with such an experienced musician.

Chain D.L.K.: Any intentions on doing more songs in Italian like you did on “Death”?
Pulcher Femina: I like very much to sing in English, I like the sound of this Language, sometimes when I translate the lyrics in Italian they sound weird…I don’t like them!

Chain D.L.K.: If you could pick up to five Italian words to describe Pulcher Femina and yourself, what would they be?
Pulcher Femina: Pessimista – Ottimista – Malinconico – Energico – Innamorato Della Musica Pessimist, optimist, melancholic, full of energy, in love with music

Chain D.L.K.: Ok fun question for you here to end the interview…What is your favorite personal Italian recipe?
Pulcher Femina: Pizza, of course. There’s a restaurant near the place where I work and often, after work I eat pizza. To tell you the truth, in this restaurant works a girl that I like very, very much…and I hope that one day she will notice my presence! !

Chain D.L.K.: And people living next to the volcanoes in Italy: courageous and admiring the scenic, or should they consider maybe a trip to Rome or Greece instead?
Pulcher Femina: I don’t know, but I don’t think that who lives near the volcanoes think to be brave. They simply had no other place to go…

Visit Pulcher Femina on the web at:
www.decadancerecords.it/pulcherfemina or www.decadancerecords.it

[interviewed by Shaun Hamilton] [proofreading by Erica Breyer]


  1. Amo a Pulcher Femina y admiro demasiado a Roberto… es demasiado lindo, talentoso, una persona excepcional interiormente, que simplemente ama la musica, y hace esto x amor a ella… No sólo x el ego de ser famoso, como ocurre habitualmente en otras bandas que he visto… Realmente su música es bellísima, de las pocas bandas que realmente me llegan a emocionar x todo su contenido musical. Espero que haya pulcher fémina para rato, y por supuesto aki lo estamos esperando en Chile algún día…
    Buenísima entrevista!
    Su fan #1, Claudia…


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