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"accessible musical themes, melodies, and a feel good vibe throughout. Nothing pretentious, nothing to make your brain hurt trying to figure it out (although some licks will still leave your jaw on the floor), just 12 tracks that will give you as much fun listening to them as you suspect Berends had recording them. Overall this is a very enjoyable album that rewards on first listen and reveals new textures on each subsequent spin. It’s not reinventing the wheel but its well written, well played and well produced... recommended listening for any classic rock fan." - Virtuosity One

"a really nice job" - Mike Varney              "splendid" -

"as good as it gets" - Dr. Music          "thoroughly enjoyable" - Exposé

Bill Berends: guitarist, composer, mastermind, producer, engineer, vocalist, expat, super genius, and generally cool guy. Social distancing expert. Welcome!
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January 05, 2024  [ home ]

Just a quick update... I'm still here. The second half of 2023 was a difficult time for me, but I'm still standing... for the moment. I have some health issues to deal with in my advancing years and currently, no bass player, so no day-to-day band, no regular playing. So once again, back to square one. Here I go again... wish me luck!

If anyone knows of possible opportunities that may be of interest, feel free to get in touch. Otherwise, at this point, once again...

I need a decent bass player in São Paulo that speaks some English for blues rock jams (not Mastermind). Get in touch if that sounds like you!

OK, 2024... bring it on. Happy New Year!

August 07, 2023  [ home ]

The Bolivia Fest show was enjoyable. Good to be playing again!

I did an interview with Stay Rock Web Radio Brazil before the show which is still up on YouTube. Pretty much me telling my musical history with some stories and opinions. The show is Portuguese language, but I am speaking English throughout with my old lady translating and bassist Gabriel Costa kicking in. If you're interested, here's the link. I don't think I offended too many people! lol... but it was fun. I may just have to do a bit more broadcasting myself! I still have plenty of stories (and opinions ;)) to share. More news and info coming soon.

Bill Berends interview, Stay Rock Radio, Brazil Enjoy!

[ This video isn't available anymore ] I'll see if I can get a copy to post.

July 11, 2023  [ home ]

Ao vivo Bill Berends' MASTERMIND Bolivia Fest, Julha 23, 2023

Os amigos de Sampa sempre perguntam "onde eu posso te ver tocar? Feliz em anunciar meu primeiro show ao vivo em SP desde o começo da pandemia. Agradeço a Cátia Bolívia Cristina e Rogério Utrila e o Icbr Bolivia por nos convidar para tocar no 7° Bolívia Fest (com Gabriel Costa no baixa e Gabriel Rego batera). Bolívia e Cátia Rock, Instituto Cultural Bolívia Rock. Não percam!

March 30, 2023  [ home ]

Bill Berends' MASTERMIND Brazil 2023

With Brazilian musicians Gabriel Costa on bass and introducing Gabriel Rego on drums, we hit the stage on Saturday, April 8th at Aldeia Rock Fest XX playing a mix of classic Mastermind tunes and also something brand new! The first time in front of an audience since the pandemic began in 2020, I am very much looking forward to it! Three years is way too long. More live dates to follow (hopefully ;)).

March 11, 2023  [ home ]

Still dicking around with the Photo Gallery, trying to get it back. Apparently a new version of php wasn't compatible with Piwigo gallery software and now Piwigo isn't compatible with the new php. Click on the box on the right to see all photos in no particular order or albums. I managed to rescue all the photos which I may just throw in an open directory and be done with it. I'm really sick of dealing with computers, updates, and retarded code revisions. I just want to play guitar!

Towards that end, rehearsals are going nicely and I still enjoy playing in real time with real people!! My new album is kind of on hold while I pull this new live band together, but 40+ minutes of music is done just awaiting final mixing. Soon. That means dicking around with computers too... aaarrrggh.

Also, we confirmed Saturday, April 8th at Aldeia Rock Fest XX. Excellent.

February 26, 2023  [ home ]

Gearing up to give it another go... returning to the Aldeia Rock Festival 06, 07 e 08 de abril 2023. More info (and hopefully more shows) will follow. Stay tuned!

Aldeia Rock Festival - April 06, 07, 08, 2023

Sept. 22, 2022  [ home ]

I don't have the time or patience to deal with websites anymore. The Piwigo photo gallery here is fucked. It worked until it didn't. It autosends me emails telling me to update to a new version but won't let me login. I don't have time to troubleshoot this bullshit. It's happened with every single damned online anything... eventually it doesn't work, becomes inaccessible (I'm looking you, YouTube), mutates into something with too many unwanted "features", or it simply goes away. Software engineers are clearly idiots. I don't want to put it all on Facebook or whatever because that'll be gone too eventually. It's a real shame because I have loads of nice photos I'd be happy to put SOMEWHERE that I'm sure fans would enjoy, but I don't feel like doing it over and over and over again, so fuck it.

In other news I am recording for a new album, the first one in ten years (!) and think it is going well. It isn't MASTERMIND or even PROG (god I hate that word), and it isn't an instrumental guitar either. It's... loud rock band music. I may put out it under a pseudonym or something to avoid comparisons and preconceptions. I think it may actually be the best stuff I've ever written. In any case, I feel inspired. We may play it out live at some point, but I'm still quite COVID shy. We'll see how fans react, but I hope to release something before the end of the year 2022. It's been too long.

March 22, 2022  [ home ]

My first entry of 2022 on this, the first day of Spring! Actually, Autumn in Brazil. Thankfully. I've had enough HOT to last a lifetime, thank you very much. Triple vaccinated, I've managed to avoid COVID to date and hope to keep it that way. I can't believe we're going into the third year of this global pandemic thing.

THE NEWS: the Aldeia Rock Festival outside Rio de Janeiro is finally happening. Originally scheduled for April 2020, MASTERMIND 2022 Brazil will be performing a full set on Thursday, April 14th, 2022 in the evening (barring the unforseen).

Aldeia Rock Festival
- MASTERMIND 2022 - APRIL 14, 2022 - 11pm/23hr

This is an out-in-the-woods-by-a-river-hippie-camping-mini-woodstock sort of thing, two hours northeast of Rio. It should be a trip! If perchance you are in the Rio area, we hope you'll come see the band. Rehearsals have begun and it feels good to PLAY LOUD again!! It's been waaaay too long. It's a lot of work to get back up to speed, so hopefully some other gigs will follow shortly. We shall see. Rock on!

More festival info here.

October 5th, 2021  [ home ]

Time really flies (or does it drag?) during a pandemic, eh? 5 months since my last entry, I'm making some attempt at making this site more mobile friendly. I still use Notepad and do it all by hand because sooner or later a service or app will be gone and your back to square one. Some of my tags are ancient but still seem to work, so good enough. How does it look on your stupid phone or mobile device?

Mastermind was going to play another Totem Prog festival here in São Paulo in November, but in a flash of wisdom, it has been postponed until whenever, just like most everything else. In the interim I'm trying to get some new musical ideas down, but it's slow going, Not much inspiration to be found sitting at home OR out in the world. I'm really not hearing much that makes me think "YEAH MAN!" But I keep looking.

In other News, I'm fully vaccinated with two shots of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine. No side effects at all. Not one. My arm didn't even hurt, so I don't know what Eric Clapton is on about, but he must be a delicate flower. He's certainly being an ass about it. If you aren't vaccinated, please stay away from me!

April 30, 2021  [ home ]

Thanks to everyone who tuned in last Friday, it seems we had pretty good numbers. If you missed the show, join the Mailing List and you just may yet get to see it. ;) Onward!

Thank you and good night!!

April 21, 2021  [ home ]

April 23rd, 2021: MASTERMIND 2021 live stream at Totem Prog IV, São Paulo

@20h horario de Sao Paulo, 7pm EST, 11pm GMT, 8am 4/24 Tokyo.

On Sunday April 18 Bill Berends' MASTERMIND Brazil shot video for Totem Prog IV to be "live" streamed Friday, April 23 at 8pm Sao Paulo time. This is as live as it gets, cameras on, play for an hour, thank you and good night. No editing, no remixing, audio straight to video, no post production polishing. We haven't even seen it, but the performance was raw, energetic, and powerful, warts and all. If the mix was good, it should be enjoyable!

Sign up for free access with an email address at the link below.

Step-by-step English instructions on how to watch.

1). Click the link.

2). Click the calendar date box 23 ABR.

3). Enter a name, email address, phone#, and a password (SENHA) or sign in with Facebook.

4). When prompted for a phone number enter (11) 91234-1234 or anything like (11) 92345-1234 (the first 9 indicates a cell phone in Brazil). It needs a Brazil number.

5). Click on FINALIZER and enter the site (ENTRAR).

6). You will receive an email with a link to the video. Click ASSISTA to watch.

The final step once you're in Tiketera is to click on the Totem Prog banner. Signing up is easy and painless!

NOTE: you have to install the Tiketera app to watch on a smart phone. Sorry about that. No special software is required to watch on a desktop. Just delete the app when it's done! They should send you a reminder on the day.. maybe! It's Friday, two (2) days from now... surely you can remember that. ;D

I hope you can join us!!

March 21, 2021  [ home ]

It's been a full year now that I've been living in coronavirus quarantine and things aren't looking much better now than when the thing first reared it's ugly head, especially in Brazil where things have actually gotten worse. One glimmer of hope [for me] is the possibility of receiving a vaccine early on, possibly in April, due to my advancing years, but beyond that I don't see things getting back to 'normal' anytime soon. We still have a long way to go.

In the COVID-19 void I finally got 'round to some video editing. I present to you in all its 29 minute glory my Brazilian MASTERMIND 2019 band performing the BRAINSTORM suite in its entirety at the Totem Prog Festival in São Paulo, November 2019. Cobbled together from a dozen or so audience videos and multiple recorders, I hope you enjoy it! Check back in the coming weeks as I will be posting more MASTERMIND concert video from over the years and whatever else I find inspiration to work on. Please share this everywhere!


For those more familiar with the synth-laden original version, this stripped down guitar, bass, and drums power trio version holds its own quite well I think and captures the feel and intent of the piece nicely. As much as I do love a good synthesizer, I don't miss them all that much. Perhaps again in the future, but for now my whole life is stripped down to basics.

January 30, 2021  [ home ]

John C. E. Berends, Jr.
October 10, 1932 - January 21, 2021

On Thursday, January 21st, 2021, after a brief (non-COVID) illness, my father died peacefully at home in his sleep surrounded by immediate family. He was 88 years old. My feelings are private and complex, it will take some time to process them, but it's hard to believe the old man isn't with us anymore. He will be missed.

John Berends has left the building. Rest in peace.

January 07, 2021  [ home ]

Happy belated New Year!! Going on 10 months of COVID-19 isolation now and slowly losing my mind. As if 2020 wasn't bad enough, it seems 2021 is off to a rough start as well after 5 days of relative calm. Here's to hoping that it gets better, that the world regains some sense of sanity, that the vaccines are effective and maybe, with a little luck, we can get past the coronavirus shitstorm this year and get back to playing music!!

Obviously, I'm not on top of keeping this web site up to date! I'm more active on Facebook and Instagram, so come visit me there. I'll try and keep this and the MASTERMIND site current when I can, but I'm not making any promises. Actually, I'd like to revamp the whole mess to a more mobile friendly setup, but that seems highly unlikely unless someone wants to help me out with it. I used to enjoy sitting down with Notepad and banging out HTML, but the whole thing got away from me and now I find it extremely tedious.

The most exciting thing to happen recently is having my trusty old 1968 Gibson SG Standard refretted!! After 52 years of hard use it certainly needed it and now it is again my favorite, best sounding instrument!! Here's to the next 52 years! I can't wait to get out again and let you all hear how great it sounds. Truly amazing! After a personal recommendation and my own investigation, I had Aguilera Guitar Repair right here in São Paulo do the work and Silvano Aguilera did a fantastic, meticulous job. I couldn't be more pleased!! I highly recommend this guy if you're in need of guitar work in the City of Sao Paulo!!


Pandemic Face. Wear your fucking masks! (and have I lost my mind?! ^^)

May 21, 2020  [ home ]

Not much new to report. 60+ days in the hole for COVID-19 quarantine with no end in sight as Brazil catches up to the States in numbers. So far I've managed to stay well along with pretty much everyone I know... knock on wood. Let's hope it stays this way.

Been reviewing old MASTERMIND concert video and Mastermind 2019 media that's been languishing on my hard drives. I'll post some to YouTube in the near future although time feels quite surreal at this point. Also writing some, but no input, no output, and inspiration is a bit hard to come by. Practicing guitar a LOT to keep busy, so my chops should be killer by the time this thing lets up. I sorely miss real time playing with other musicians and 3 months now with no *LOUD* interactive jams is getting to me. I'm not much of a bedroom YouTube kind of guy, though I may give it a shot. We'll see. It's really not the same thing at all. Not even close.

Thanks for looking in and I hope all my family, friends, fans, and brother musicians are well. I miss you all! Stay safe, social distance, wear your goddamn masks (!) and check back later to see what's up. Until then, see ya on Facebook, Instagram, etc. -Bb

March 15, 2020  [ home ]

Check back later for new dates. Thanks for your patience. See you soon!!

Feb. 8th, 2020  [ home ]

Next show just confirmed, details coming soon:

MASTERMIND Brasil: February 22, 2020 - Gabrielle Cultural Lounge; R. Victório Bonucci, 920 - Jardim Tangará, São Carlos, Brazil (Facebook)

Feb. 7th, 2020  [ home ]

Some video from January 19th's gig at Santa Sede Rock Bar in São Paulo. Another number from the Brainstorm album which I haven't played in decades! Not quite as glorious a setting as our theater show in November, but a gig is a gig and I thought the band played well.

MASTERMIND 2020 - Nowhere In Sight - LIVE at Santa Sede Rock Bar

More video on YouTube. Also some raw bootleg quality audio of the entire night for long attention span hardcore fans. One 75 minute set of MASTERMIND music and a short set of cover tunes to fill out the night. For full effect jack your heat up to 90F/32C degrees at 90% humidity and grab yourself a cold one...

Jan. 2nd, 2020  [ home ]

Happy New Year!! Feliz ano novo! Let the Roaring 20's begin!!

Bill Berends' Brazilian MASTERMIND 2020 in concert!!

Sunday, Jan. 19, 2020 @ SANTA SEDE ROCK BAR 20:00 hr, ingresso R$10
Av. Luiz Dumont Villares, 2104 - Santana, São Paulo - SP, 02239-000, Brazil

Santa Sede flyer

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