Mastermind Facebook page

Posted: September 8, 2009 at 2:30 am

We’ve finally gotten ’round to getting a page up on Facebook.

We hope all you Facebookers will join us there!

category: internet,Mastermind,News,website

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Mastermind classic video on Youtube

Posted: April 19, 2009 at 8:14 am

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!

category: history,Mastermind,music,News,video

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Blogspot, Facebook, Twitter, etc

Posted: April 13, 2009 at 8:52 am

Bill Berends here. Since I am doing some solo guitar material I thought I should have a place to shoot my mouth off about it, so I started a new blog at blogspot. Also started a Twitter account for whatever reason lol… but feel free to follow if you’re interested. Oh right, I’m on Facebook as well, look me up. I am totally connected! To what I’m not sure, but I am. Anyway I invite you to check it out….

Recording update and new music coming VERY soon!! I’ve been very busy!

[UPDATE: All non-Mastermind and personal stuff is now on -Bill]

category: blogging,internet,News

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March Update

Posted: March 6, 2009 at 11:13 pm

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!


category: Mastermind,music,News

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Ding Dong the witch is DEAD!!

Posted: January 20, 2009 at 6:27 pm

HOORAY!!! I am so happy the Bush-hole is GONE!!! Goodbye JERKOFF!!

category: blogging,rants

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2009 new beginnings

Posted: January 5, 2009 at 9:24 pm

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!


category: Mastermind,music,News

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Happy Holidays!

Posted: December 24, 2008 at 2:48 pm

Best holiday wishes to all our friends! May joy & happiness find you this holiday season.

We look forward to the new year with hope & anticipation.

Merry Christmas everyone!

category: blogging,News

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

Posted: November 5, 2008 at 11:28 am

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]

category: history,music,rants


Nine years ago today…

Posted: September 9, 2008 at 11:29 pm

It amazes me how quickly time seems to go on one hand and oh so painfully slow on the other. I can barely believe it was nine years ago today – 09/09/1999 – that I finished mixing our last full length studio release Angels of the Apocalypse. Surely it cannot have been so long ago! Yet at the same time it feels like we’ve been under the dark Neocon cloud for decades. Perhaps because we have, going back to Reagan, but I will refrain from getting into that here. It’s no secret I have deep disdain for Republicans and the people running this country so moving right along I will try to give a brief retrospective of how things came to be as they are (or are not as the case may be) regarding Mastermind.

So what did happen? The first crack in the armour was when Rich moved an hour drive away severely limiting our creative time together. Although it wasn’t apparent at first as he diligently made the drive to rehearsals and gigs, it became clear over time a few hours here and there is simply not enough time to do anything other than just run thru stuff to keep the machine running. I still had a drummer, but much less of a collaborative partner.

Adding a full time female vocalist took us too far off our original course. Not to detract from these lovely and talented women, but in retrospect a female vocalist may have been the biggest mistake we ever made. Although we were one of the first heavy bands to do so, when Evanescence hit the ensuing flood of fem-vox bands left us in the dust. Taking Mastermind out as a bar band simply to keep going was also a mistake that took us even further away from our original direction. I should have stayed home and worked on new recordings but…..

Changing over from analog tape to all computer recording also changed my work methods which slowed things down considerably. Dicking around with computers all the time was simply no fun, I’d rather just play guitar! The relentless march of digital technology and highspeed Internet also hurt the music business at large and though we completed a new album in 2004, we couldn’t get a label to pick it up. I’m not blaming this totally on labels or the Internet, the change in musical direction we were going thru was surely a contributing factor. But it didn’t help. The morphing from prog to metal was also not something I was totally comfortable with either and after a point my heart just wasn’t in it anymore.

Finally, the revolving door of a half dozen bass players put a serious damper on my will to carry on. Each new player meant starting over from scratch and I just couldn’t do it again. When the last one left in January 2007 that was the death knell as I saw it and a chance to just make a clean break and start over. Rediscovering my roots with the 2005 Cream reunion I was remembering WHY I enjoyed making music in the first place, and in disconnecting my synthesizers I also rediscovered the joy of simply playing guitar. Taking a dive into the blues I grew up with has been refreshing, made me a better player, and has brought me full circle to a point where I am writing new music that I actually enjoy again. The previous blog gives some insight as to where that’s going.

So there you have it. Not that we haven’t been doing anything these past nine years! We played more live shows than ever before, recorded a whole new album, released the well received Broken EP in 2005, and put together a whole new act – The Berends Bros Band – but this date stood out to me and I felt a need to reflect on some of the things that have happened over the years. ~Bb

category: blogging,history,Mastermind


August Update

Posted: August 25, 2008 at 10:13 am

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

category: blogging,Mastermind,music,News

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