Somewhere south of the equator…

Posted: September 27, 2019 at 7:00 pm

Please stand by. More info coming soon.


category: Brazil,Mastermind,music,News,video

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Still alive and well!

Posted: May 15, 2018 at 1:23 am

Bill Berends here. Visit billberends.com for updates on my life and music. I am now living in São Paulo, Brazil (!) of all places. Rich Berends is out playing with all kinds of people. Mastermind digital catalog sales continue over on bandcamp (thank you all and welcome new fans!). We’ve all gone through some life changes, but everyone is alive and well and still making music. Thanks for looking in and check back now and again to see what’s up.

*May 2019 update: check back sooner than later for info on a new project that will interest Mastermind fans. Say no more, nudge nudge, wink wink.

ps: check out my new music site Benvalia Music if you haven’t already. There’s some cool stuff there, including my own solo releases. Thanks for stopping by. -Bb


category: blogging,News

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Happy New Year 2017 !!! ~bandcamp 50% off sale~

Posted: January 11, 2017 at 3:14 pm

Happy New Year and best wishes for 2017!!

To start off the new year the entire Mastermind discography is now on sale on bandcamp at a special 50% discount when you purchase the entire catalog. Full fidelity audio or choose from several audio formats, FLAC to mp3, it’s quite a bargain for $37 USD! Simply click on any album and purchase info is below the album price. Take advantage of this deal now!


In other news, Mastermind guitarist Bill Berends has set up a new bandcamp music store called BENVALIA MUSIC to make solo works and other non-Mastermind recordings available. Both Benificial to the artists and of Value to the discerning listener, please take a moment to check it out and like Benvalia Music on Facebook while your at it. Thanks! 🙂

“Benvalia Music showcases works performed, produced, and/or curated by resident musician/producer Bill Berends. Home to a careful selection of styles, bands and artists, it was set up to bring quality music to fans world-wide.”

Titles on Benvalia Music include BIll’s 1988 solo new age electronica EP Life Cycle, pianist brother David Berends’ prog-pop band THE NAME, prog keyboardist Micheal West, and other carefully selected artists Bill has worked with or produced over the years. More interesting music and more Bill Berends solo material both new and old is coming in the near future.

That’s it for now! Please join the Berends Music Mailing List if you have not already.

Here’s to a wonderful New Year!

ps: the Broken EP will be added sooner or later along with other vintage live recordings and various oddities and out takes. So much to do, so little time, please check back often!


category: downloads,Mastermind,music,News,website

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Brainstorm live (complete) video

Posted: August 15, 2016 at 11:40 pm

Recently uploaded a video of Brainstorm live from our 1997 US tour with Fish. Enjoy.



Mastermind live at the Odeon, Cleveland, Ohio

Bill Berends: guitar, MIDI-guitar, vocal
Rich Berends: drums & percussion
Phil Antolino: bass, MIDI-pedals


category: Mastermind,music,video

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Keith Emerson 1944 – 2016

Posted: March 15, 2016 at 8:00 pm

Keith Noel Emerson (2 November 1944 – 10 March 2016)

Deeply saddened by the tragic news of Keith Emerson passing. An influence and inspiration, his music will be remembered.

“He was a man. Take him for all in all.
 I shall not look upon his like again.”

RIP Keith.


Keith Emerson


category: blogging,music,News

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2016

Posted: March 1, 2016 at 3:25 am

I can’t believe it’s 20-fucking-16. Damn.

Nothing new to say, really. I would love to get this going again in some form, but I can’t do it all by myself. So, although I still don’t consider Mastermind to be dead, it is in a deep coma. Will it ever awaken again is yet to be seen. It was never intended for Insomnia to be the last Mastermind album and still may yet not be, but people and things being as they were made it difficult to carry on. We kept it going for 20 years, maybe a 30th Anniversary of sorts could be possible. Then again, I’m not so sure I really want to go backwards in time. We shall see.

I’ve updated a few blog entries here since the site still gets a lot of hits to older entries. I’m halfway tempted to delete them all, but for now I’ll leave them as a historical record of sorts. Quite a lot of attempts at log-ins too, as I see from the site stats. WTF? That’s crazy. The rest of the site is mostly static and kind of a cluster fuck, like the streets of London. It grew over time and meanders around all over the place, but lots of interesting stuff to find poking around. I’ve thought of scratching it all for another boring wordpress site. Nah. lol.

Anyway, the recordings are still there for you to enjoy (and purchase) and new folks are still discovering the music all the time, which is nice. I continue to write and record music on my own and am shooting for some kind of new release in 2016. Some of that includes reworked Mastermind stuff. Most of it is brand spankin’ new material. Life goes on.

Visit billberends.com and sign up to the mailing list to be notified when something happens.

Thanks for looking in.

Yours in music,
Bill Berends
March 01, 2016


category: blogging,Mastermind,News,website

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Mastermind: Insomnia – 5 years on

Posted: February 23, 2015 at 12:00 pm

February 19th, 2015 marked the 5th anniversary of Mastermind’s 7th full length studio album release – Insomnia – featuring vocalist Tracy McShane’s album debut and Jens Johansson returning for his third outing with the Berends brothers progressive rock outfit. The darker, heavier sound is something of a departure from previous titles, but continues an evolution that began with the explosive instrumental fire of Excelsior, morphing into the female fronted symphonic prog-metal of Angels of the Apocalypse, and evolving yet further into something unusual and quite unique. This was a 21st Century Mastermind for sure, yet many elements of the Berends signature sound are still present and identifiable.

However, Insomnia almost never saw the light of day. After a long and arduous search for a suitable new label, the album was eventually released worldwide by Lion Music in Finland, run by Swedish guitarist Lars Eric Mattsson. Changes in personnel, changes in the record business, broadband internet, the global economy, all contributed to the delay. Most of the recording was done years earlier between 2002 and 2004 with two songs released as a preview on the Broken EP of 2005 along with several live tracks. Almost a full album in itself. The band gigged often during the early 21st Century building a receptive new audience on the live circuit, so a lot of the material road tested and gaining traction with new fans.



Some of the older prog fans didn’t really follow, but overall the album was well received and critically accepted (reviews) with many folks applauding a fresh new approach and some even calling it the best Mastermind album to date. Things being as they were, however, with departing members and frustrations with the business side of things, the band had ceased performing live by early 2007 and the album was released without proper live support even though the songs were being performed live during the preceding years.

It was never intended for this to be the last of Mastermind’s album output, but without finding suitable new players and no real support from the outside, Mastermind slipped into a coma of sorts and has been on indefinite hiatus since 2007. Bill and Rich continued to perform as The Berends Brothers Band and Bill Berends stepped out on his own with an instrumental solo album in 2012 and continues to create new music, some of which was – and yet may still be – destined to become Mastermind VIII. This my still happen at some point.

So it is somewhat with mixed emotion that we view things 5 years on. We made a good album that not enough people heard and it’s a shame we couldn’t manage to go out and support it live. For those who have listened and purchased a copy, we thank you for your support. Everyone else, get listening! As for the future… anything is possible.

Mastermind: Insomnia on CDBaby


category: history,Mastermind,music,video

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Happy Holidays 2014

Posted: December 26, 2014 at 7:30 pm

Season’s Greetings and happy holidays!

Mastermind’s Fearless Leader Bill Berends has posted a new holiday video on his web site. Of particular interest to Mastermind fans is the second half of the video is based on a demo for a possible potential 8th Mastermind album.  youtube.com/watch?v=it0eiZAeN7M



If you missed Bill’s FNP interview back in November (see below), the show is now archived so you may listen on demand: Friday Night Progressive: Bill Berends interview and award show. Mastermind fans may find some of the commentary enlightening.

That’s it for now. Bill continues to write new music and everyone else is doing whatever it is they do. Be sure to bookmark billberends.com and join the mailing list for future updates.

Best wishes to all for a happy holiday season!


category: interviews,Mastermind,music,News

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Mastermind guitarist to receive award

Posted: November 27, 2014 at 1:11 am

On Friday Nov. 28th Friday Night Progressive honors Mastermind guitarist Bill Berends with the “Indeprog Award” for outstanding prog artistry in recognition of his musical career and commemorating the 20th Anniversary of MASTERMIND III: Tragic Symphony. Featuring a candid interview with Bill, commentary, music & chat. Tune in live at 9pm EST (NYC time). All of us here would like to thank FNP for their ongoing interest and support. Thank you!

Interview (Archive) Originally aired Nov. 28, 2014 | Facebook FNP group


category: interviews,Mastermind,News

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Mastermind III: Tragic Symphony 20th Anniversary

Posted: November 20, 2014 at 8:30 pm

November 2014 marks the 20th Anniversary of Mastermind III: Tragic Symphony, the band’s third studio album. First released in Japan on Nov. 9th, 1994 on the Zero/EMI label, and a few months later in Europe, the USA, and Korea by various labels, Tragic Symphony was the first Mastermind album licensed and released worldwide, bringing the band to a much wider global audience. For many, this was their first introduction to Mastermind.

Twenty years ago today, on Nov. 20th, 1994, the original trio line up presented the premier live performance of the album in its entirety at ProgScape ’94 at Stephens Hall in Towson, MD to a receptive and enthusiastic audience. Many thanks to everyone who helped make this album a milestone in the history of Mastermind.

Home movie teaser of the Stephens Hall performance, 20 years ago today.




click for larger image

PS: The possibility of future lives shows is not out of the question, however, regarding the previous blog entry, the promoter was promising more than they could deliver and nothing came of it. Unfortunate, but never say never.


category: history,Mastermind,music,News

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