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For all of you who don't know, Tefilla is no longer among us. So, this is more like a memorial interview. When I called one of the guys of their label early this year for an interview, I was told the band had split up. But, I was also told that there was some hope left. Recently I asked again and this time I got to know that Tefilla is buried. Because this band was important to the Dutch scene, being around for seven years, I just wanted to do this last interview. Read here why the band had to end.


Interview with: Jaap Heeling (vocalist)

Date: November 12th 1999

Where: Live-on-air interview via the telephone during the AFTE radioshow, The Netherlands

Other bandmembers: Edwin van der Laan (bass), Leo van Gilst (guitar), Jeroen van Wilst (guitar), Jan Hofman (drums); Line-up that made the Grievous Anguish album.

Band's Geographical Home: Drenthe/Groningen, The Netherlands

Discography: Grievous Anguish (1998)

Contact Address: The band has split up. You might like to check out this website: http://callisto.worldonline.nl/~laanj

Interview by: MPO


Jaap, can you tell us why Tefilla split up this year?

Yes. I will try to do that in short. When we started we began with five people. At a certain time the drummer left the band and we got a new one. That went very well. The band moved on full steam ahead. However, at  a certain moment he had to stop for personal reasons and since that time we tried for some time to go on but in the end it didn't work out. So, we decided to stop.

Right. And as I understand it, it had to with the departure of guitarist Leo too.

Yeah. He was the one who wrote all the songs. That's why we had something like "when we go on it will be completely different and it won't be like what Tefilla was all about."

Why then did he leave the band?

Leo left the band in the end because he didn't want to go the direction we were heading with the new drummer. And besides that he was just a bit burned out  concerning Tefilla. And things went so slow.

Are there no other guitarists in the Northern parts of our country that could adopt the same style of playing?

No, that's very meager here.

Did you look for one because I knew nothing about it.

We did seek for a new guitarist but, to be honest, not very hard. We had something like, "this is the line-up we started with and it was a strong line-up." We also wanted to stay with our sound. And write songs in that style and make music. We had something like, this is typically the style of this guitarist. So, we were all ready for new challenges. That's how I want to put it.

I wonder if the splitting up of the band has anything to do with your former manager, Abhay van den Berg. He was talking about a tour with Meshuggah and dates for such a tour were even printed in a Dutch hardrock magazine. And your album would be released through Nuclear Blast and the band would tour the States, he said. But nothing happened and the CD didn't come out (the album was recorded in early 1996). Are that frustrations you had as a band that made it difficult?

No, not really. Between the band-members there was no conflict. And the Abhay van den Berg stage was past. We had a good contact with the label that finally brought out the CD, Fear Dark. That went well. We had a few concerts coming up. So, that was all right. No, that's not a reason we split up.

Aha. And, to summarize, it's because of the trouble finding a drummer that the band dissolved gradually?


So, there will be no reunion?

No. Well, we met each other again and we said, "let's go in the practicing-room again to play a few songs." But that's just the fun we share with each other.

Isn't it weird to stop Tefilla after more than six years?

Yeah, it was very strange. Especially in the beginning. But, like I said, I went on in music. I have a new band now where I am vocalist again and where I can train my vocal abilities more. That's a nice thing that comes up with it.

I understand that you want to focus on the future. But don't you think it's a pity that Tefilla ended?

Of course that's a pity. Especially then, at that time, because it looked like things were going to come together once again. But what I want to say is, look out for my new band, you'll like it!

Yeah, that's what were gonna talk about now. What are the former members of Tefilla doing now? You already said that you're in a new band. Can you tell something more about that?

Yes. I'm now in a band that's more into groovy metal like System Of A Down. I don't know if the listeners now that band. It's a very progressive groovy metalband. And there are lots of combinations of vocals and the Tefilla-style.

And Tefilla was a Christian band that wanted to bring the Christian message. How is that with your new band?

That's not the case with my new band. I'm the only Christian in the band. Only the lyrics are written by me. So, of course, there is some Christian inspiration in it. I write those lyrics as a Christian. There is a little Christian message in it but we don't bring it.

By the way, what's the name of the band?


Grey? That sounds a bit colorless!


Sorry. I'm just kidding.

For a lot of people this is grey area too.

Okay, what is bass-player Edwin van der Laan doing now?

At this moment his bass-guitar is in the cup-board. So, he isn't doing anything with music so far.

And guitarist Leo van Gilst? As I understood it he wanted to do something solo or with other guys.

Yeah, that's what he's pushing hard. And he started a new band that's almost a copy of Meshuggah in which he can do his thing like he wants it.

What's the name of that band?

The band has no name so far. They just started. What I can tell you    at the moment is that we with Grey will do a gig with his band on the 21st of January 2000 in Groningen City. That will be in the Simplon club.

Is that a Christian band or more secular?

Yeah, that's also more secular. It has nothing to do with denying Christianity or something. It has more to do with doing a hobby.

To utter yourself musically with a couple of persons that are of the same high musical level.

Yeah. Indeed.

And the other members. I think of  Jan Hofman especially.

Well, he has stopped music completely as he owns two companies. He is busy with that. The other guitarist (Jeroen, mpo) went to college. He doesn't have a band at this moment. He is still into music but not active in a band.

I have one last question. Recently a CD came out with the Tefilla song Scenes Beyond The Grave. That should have been the title of the album but the song wasn't put on it in the end. Why?

We thought that the song, compared to the other songs that are on the album, was of less quality and therefore we decided to leave it out. And so the CD isn't called after it. We did that in cooperation with Fear Dark.

I'm gonna play another song from the Grievous Anguish album and that's Horn Of Salvation. What's the song about?

It's about the redemption-work of Jesus and that he owes all the glory. That he saved us from eternal death and gave us eternal life instead.