Archive for the 'music' Category


December 18th, 2009 | Category: Mastermind,music,News

December 18th is Mastermind guitarist Bill Berends birthday! On this auspicious occasion we would like to make a very big announcement…

MASTERMIND has signed with LION MUSIC of Finland to release the long awaited INSOMNIA album!! Our first album for the label, “Insomnia” will be released on February 19th 2010. This is our first full length studio album in many years and features vocalist Tracy McShane joining founding members Bill Berends (guitars, synths, bass) and Rich Berends (drums) along with Jens Johansson (Stratovarius) once again contributing keyboard solos and piano.

We are all very pleased with this development and hope those of you reading will help spread the news far and wide, Mastermind is back! And to add to this wonderful news, the band has been rehearsing with bassist Tim Spillane preparing for live performances in support of the album release. As some may recall, Tim played bass with Mastermind in 2001 performing at our NJ Proghouse & Pittsburgh shows with Symphony-X amongst others. Welcome back Tim!

The Insomnia album also features the bass talents of Chris Eike & Greg Hagen.

Visit for more information about the release.

Happy birthday indeed! A wonderful way to start a new year!


The Ride of the Valkyrie – Live In Tokyo

October 24th, 2009 | Category: history,Mastermind,music,video

This performance at Shibuya On Air West (Japan) became the Live In Tokyo album. Now after all this time you can actually see it! Hooray for the internets. More to come. Enjoy!

Stop by youtube leave a comment and subscribe to our channel. Thanks!

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Mastermind Voume Two “Brainstorm”

September 28th, 2009 | Category: Mastermind,music,News

Continuing with the previous log entry, we present our second studio album Brainstorm for your listening pleasure. We hope to introduce new fans to our early works and give everyone an opportunity to hear the music.

Presenting Mastermind Volume Two “Brainstorm first released in December 1991…

<a href="">BRAINSTORM (Suite) by Mastermind</a>

Once again, downloads are available in multiple formats as well as mp3’s, but you can stream the entire album online and enjoy it free. Thanks for listening!

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September 24th, 2009 | Category: Mastermind,music,News

We know a lot of people have been fans of the band for a long time (we love you all!) so this is old news. Yet we are also aware many people have only came to know us from our last few releases since Inside Out had pretty good distribution.

Over time our earlier works have been getting harder to find on CD, so to help you learn more about the history of the band you can now listen to our albums in their entirety at * where we will start from the beginning and work our way forward.

This is Mastermind Volume One, our first album from 1990. We hope you enjoy it…

<a href="">Child of Technology by Mastermind</a>

Go directly to the page by clicking the name above. You can embed this little player anywhere you like too! Just click the SHARE link there and choose a player. Cool! Do it with individual songs too. There is a freebie in there too if you look for it. There’s also an option to purchase at any price above the minimum if you want to show your appreciation. We sure could use your help! If not, you can listen as much as you want online, no strings attached. We just want you to hear the music. Listening to it again while prepping the files…. it’s still a darn good album even after all these years.

Bandcamp downloads are in any format you choose too… mp3, AAC, FLAC, Ogg, Apple Lossless, etc. We hope you decide you can’t live without it and snag a copy for your iPod or whatever people use these days! Thanks and enjoy. More to come.

* all titles are at Mindawn as well, but the bandcamp streaming feature is excellent.

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September Update 09.09.09

September 09th, 2009 | Category: history,internet,Mastermind,music,News

09/09/09! Wow, time sure flies… I haven’t blogged here in months. Probably because nothing concrete has been going on in the world of Mastermind the band, but lots of little things have happened over the last few months, so here are some quick updates…

We’ve got a new download page at which is very user friendly. There you can listen (free) and download Mastermind in a variety of formats [mp3, VBR, ACC, Ogg, Flac, Apple Lossless] for just one low price. The URL is easy to recall: and 100% of your purchase price goes directly into our artist Paypal account which is nice.

There is also an option to pay whatever you’d like above the suggested price if you’d care to help fund future endeavors. We hope some of you choose that option! There are web widgets under the “Share” link so you can stream Mastermind tunes anywhere on the web. Very cool.

The complete Mastermind catalog is still at Mindawn and we’re pleased with them, but we want to reach more people – so check out – you’ll like it. We’ll have more titles online soon. The Broken EP is also now available as mp3 from Nimbit too, another site with a widget. Check that out on our digital download page.

Since we are without a record label a the moment, getting this online thing going is really our best shot at carrying on… so we do hope you choose to make a purchase! That’s the best way to show your support and improve the odds of us getting back on our feet again. Thanks.

Next up, I’ve started in order to keep other music and personal rants out of the Mastermind legacy so to speak. Not much there now, but there will be. I have completed an instrumental guitar solo album as mentioned previously which I hope to release within my lifetime. If anyone would care to kick in a little funding to get things rolling, do get in touch!

I’ve also set up a blog to talk about guitars (and whatever) at and a new youtube channel for anything else comes that to mind at so go have a peek. The first thing I did was a little shred video… I have some video ideas for the guitar album coming. It’s a youtube world.

There’s a new Mastermind Facebook page too. Facebook is the new Myspace it seems, so stop by and add yourself. Write something nice on our Wall there. Let us know you care!

Most significantly tho’ today – and I find this hard to believe myself – it’s been ten years to the day since we finished mixing Angels of the Apocalypse our last full studio release. I never expected that to be the last hurrah and still don’t feel like it was… we did finish another album, but never managed to get it released for a variety of reasons. The good news is someone has expressed an interest so there is hope it may eventually see the light of day. That would be great. Plus, we have begun recording new material as well.

Anyway… after all this time I am still amazed by the people that come out of the woodwork to express their appreciation for the music we’ve made over the years. Some are long time fans, others just discovering us, but it has been a steady flow. So I will never say never. Let’s just hope it doesn’t take another ten years! Regardless of what the future holds, I thank you for your interest in Mastermind. Till next time…


ps: a couple Berends Brothers Band gigs this month too. Hope to see you there!

[UPDATE: Mindawn went out of business without a word. Everything still works I think. -Bb]

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Mastermind classic video on Youtube

April 19th, 2009 | Category: history,Mastermind,music,News,video

There are several new videos now playing on our Youtube channel. First up is classic Mastermind power trio footage from the 90’s… most people haven’t ever seen this material performed live so we figured we’d put it out there. Brainstorm is broken up into three parts (Youtube has a ten minute limit) so watch it via the Mastermind (classic) playlist and it plays the segments straight through in sequence.

The new playlists separate the various things we do so fans of the prog-rock stuff don’t have to wade thru the bluesy stuff and visa versa (tho’ we think it’s all good stuff). For fans of the ladies of Mastermind, more recent video will be up soon but we thought it would be nice to go back to the beginnings first. To see the new uploads just go right to the Mastermind (classic) playlist. Subscribe to our channel to be notified when new videos go online.

There is tons of this footage going back almost 20 years. Since it’s all analog video it isn’t quite digital quality but you’ll get the idea. Reminiscing how cool some of the the early material is, you can expect we’ll be doing some new stuff in a similar vein.

Let us know you enjoyed it, give us a few stars while you’re there!

More to come!

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March Update

March 06th, 2009 | Category: Mastermind,music,News

A brief progress report. The Bill Berends guitar instrumental solo album is nearly finished and sounding fantastic! More details coming soon, but this will be out in the first half of this year one way or another, either with a label or independently. Also, most of the drum tracks for the new Mastermind material are recorded and working to completion will begin in earnest once the guitar album is wrapped up.

After a brutally cold winter I can’t wait to get back out into the world with all new music!


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2009 new beginnings

January 05th, 2009 | Category: Mastermind,music,News

January 2009 tracking drums for new Mastermind music!

Rich Berends hammers it out.

January 2009 studio update: a Bill Berends solo rock guitar album is about 50% completed and mixed with the rest well under way. I hope to have this finished soon and out in the first part of this year. This is really like nothing I’ve ever done before, it’s not a blues record (tho’ I do want to make one of those) nor is it prog-rock. It’s more a collection of driving rock tunes (with some lighter moments) that are platforms for just jamming out on the guitar… that thing that I do! I am very pleased with how this is shaping up.

The Mastermind update: we’ve chosen which new compositions will make up a new Mastermind album and work has begun in earnest. Although the infamous “Insomnia” album is still in the can, we’ve decided to get to work on a new project that is more akin to the earlier direction of the band. It may take a while, but it feels like we are back on track and I am devoting all my available time now to the process of recording. If all goes well we could have multiple new titles this year. We’ll get them out there one way or another.

Collaborations: I recently recorded some guitar tracks for Shawn Gordon of ProgRock Records slated for one of his upcoming projects. I would enjoy collaborating with more artists in the future and am open to considering projects that will be an actual release of some sort and may be something I will enjoy. Feel free to run it by me and see what we can work out.

That’s it for the moment… back to work!


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I’m so glad, I’m glad I’m glad I’m glad!

November 05th, 2008 | Category: history,music,rants

For the first time in eight years I feel a real sense of hope and promise for the future, that the dark clouds lingering over us all for nearly a decade are beginning to give way. I have lived the majority of my adult life under the fascist warmongering Republican right and their Neocon empire building agenda. Today I celebrate the possibilities the future holds.

I am not so naive as to think things will change overnight, nor nearly as much as I might like, but Barack Obama as President, a black President in my lifetime (!), is certainly a reason to believe things *can* change. It is no coincidence the most prolific years of Mastermind were during the Clinton administration. So drink a toast with me to the promise the future holds.

In the past two months music has been spilling out of me like water as the Neocon regime coming to an end seemed like it just might happen. I have written and assembled 3 hours of new music! At least an hour of which is destined to become new Mastermind, not to mention another two hours of music in the can. So now the task at hand is to get it all recorded and get it out there.

Rich was here and we watched Obama’s speech as the President-elect together, so I know he feels pretty much the same way I do… hopeful. We can do it. Yes we can! Hallelujah!!

[UPDATE: Hasn’t quite work out as I had hoped. Could be worse I suppose. -Bb]


August Update

August 25th, 2008 | Category: blogging,Mastermind,music,News

Seems like it’s been a while since I’ve blogged! Time sure flies… well, no news is good news in this case. I’ve been busy writing lots of new music which we will begin recording in the coming weeks. A bulk of this material falls somewhere between Excelsior! and Until Eternity in concept and will probably be destined to become a Mastermind title. Some other material is more along the lines of the Berends Brothers classic-bluesy sound and will be something else altogether. Since writing has been my main focus as of late there have also been fewer live shows, but keep checking in, we do love to play live.

Yes, there is still a whole other album “in the can” so to speak, but we’re not quite sure what to do with it… with the flood of female vocalist bands since the early 00’s and the fact that it kind of veered pretty far off our original course, we may sit on it for a while and release it as something else. Not quite sure! But for classic Mastermind fans the good news is there is a new sense of purpose and am pleased with what I’m coming up with.

Thanks to everyone who has made a purchase from our digital catalog on Mindawn! This combined with some back royalties helps keep something in the coffers to cover operating expenses AND lets us know there is still an interest in the music of Mastermind.

Thanks for reading and hopefully no so much time between blogs next time! ~Bb

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