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After a long time on the road touring with bands like From Autumn to Ashes, Foo Fighters or Muse lately, Cave in are finally back home in Boston, MA. Drummer John-Robert Conners found some time to answer our questions.

Please introduce yourself to our readers!

Hallo, my name is J.R. and I play drums for the band called Cave In.

Why are there so many interviews with the other band members, but barely one with you?

Simply put, because I'm the drummer, hehe, it's really because I'm usually not a good interview, my answers are usually too quick for most people...

Did you guys ever meet your label boss of BMG in Europe Thomas Stein personally? (he's very popular overhere)

Not that I can remember... I don't think we ever have.

Was your freedom of decision (artistic freedom) as a band shortened in any way since you are on RCA?

The label never told us what we needed to put in our music, which was great, but I think we always had it in the back of our minds that we needed to think about writing singles, which in the long run was prolly a bad thing, although we learned from it.

Did they have any expectations? If so, what did they expect?

Well, I think they prolly expected us to be a huge band, just because we already had a small following and we had a pretty long career before we signed with them...

How did you get the chance to record in a studio in the German Black Forest? What's the story?

Well, there is no story... we never recorded in The Black Forest, though we've all been very interested in the place and the music that came from there... I really wish that we could one day record there, it would great!

Ah I see, "Acid Rain In The Black Forest" is influenced by that jazz fusion stuff that was recorded there. What are the plans after a year on the road?

Well, it's been nearly 2 years, and as of this moment we're home for a while, writing a new record.

Will you ever write songs again that are touching a heavier side of Cave In?

Yes. Though not like the old Metal years... it will be heavier, but NOT in the Slayer, Napalm Death style of heavy.

How would you describe the "usual" writing process of Cave In?

Boring... hahaha... it usually starts with Caleb, Adam, or Steve bringing in ideas to practice and we just work them out... it's different each song though... sometimes it's good ole' jammin', sometimes one of those guys will bring in parts, and even whole songs sometimes... it's different every time.

How far did your musical skills change from "Until your heart stops" up to now?

A lot, I can only speak for myself, but I've gotten a lot more solid in regards to time and hitting as hard as possible, though I used to have some cool tricks that I don't use anymore... it's just different styles of music, both in sound and in skills.

Let's talk about your touring experience: what do you think, is there much of a difference between touring the States, as opposed to Europe, or Japan?

Yup, the States suck for us compared to Europe and Japan. We do best in Japan and England though. But Germany is right up there with them ;)

Do you think the recent tour with Muse helped Cave In's popularity a lot? - You got rid of loads of CDs...

Well,  I hope it did us some good, we won't really know until we tour there next time. And we were selling our CDs for 5 Euro, so I hope we sold a lot. =P

How was the working experience with producer Rich Costey? What did you take out of those recording sessions with him?

It was a lot of fun, he's a great guy and extremly easy to work with. He definitely knows what he's doing behind the board. And we saw what it was like to work with a "real" producer. It was different from what we were used too, though it wasn't bad. Definitely a learning experience.

Some people were calling you "sell-outs" in the past, the interesting thing I noticed was that Cave In not "sold out" when signing to a major, but "sold out" when releasing an album like "Jupiter". What are your feelings on that?

Well, it was such a long time ago that "Jupiter" came out and to be honest I've always thought it kind of funny that we lost a lot of fans because we changed styles... do you really want to hear the same old shit coming from the same old band, or do you want something new, something that you can grow with? It doesn't bother me.

Looking back the past 2 years - any regrets? Anything you'd do different with your present knowledge, or plain satisfaction?

I'm definitely satisfied with the past two years, I learned a hell of a lot about touring and being in the major label world, and in general just being in a full time band... and I mean full time. The only thing that I hope we do different is to not tour AS much as we did, I think people were starting to get sick of us after the 3rd show in 4 months =P But I will use the cheesy line and say that I regret nothing.

Alright, thanks for your time. Don't know if you noticed our name, The name has basically nothing to do with Cave In's "Creative Eclipses" record, but quite often people think it's "stolen" from Cave In. Your band name comes from a Codeine song, and ZZ Top also released a record named "Antenna"... do you experience the same? Do people think..."ah you've got that name from the ZZ Top record" etc?

No we don't get that, just because I really don't think a lot of people know that much about ZZ Top (though everyone should love them!) So no, but i know what it's like, and im not mad at you, hehehe... take care!

Interview conducted by Yuky Ryang and Magnus Jaschke in December 2003.