The Beer Farmers have been a 'thing' for a long, long time. In our first post, we thought we'd explain who we are and why we exist.
OK, so presumably the last thing Information Security needs is a band. You might think that, but you're wrong.
Over the last year or so, it's become apparent that there's more than a little conjecture and indeed downright rage between people who all exist on the same side of the mission; saving people from a fate worse than a fate worse than death online.
Yes, that doubling up of the risk was deliberate.
Also, there's been an increase in the recognition that the Information Security industry could do well to take itself less seriously and as a result, focus on what's actually important; educating service providers around how to do security properly, while at the same time, educating and empowering consumers of those services to help prevent being victims of a hard cowbell.
Cowbells will be a recurring theme.
The Beer Farmers exist to help make the online World a nicer (and more rock) place.
The band itself has been around since the mid-1970s, as a result of a bad experience Mike had at a security conference in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. His extraction from the country required Ian's military expertise and there the bond was formed between the two. We just needed a mission.
Shortly after, we discovered John and Sean busking in downtown LA and our group was complete. After a week long beer drinking bender in Amsterdam that none of us remember, we released our first record 'Here For You'. That motto has stuck with the band ever since, because we are.
Here's some footage of us in the studio back in '76, working with 'Mr Gold Records' producer Bruce Dickinson:
Anyway, on to who we are.
I'm Mike and I'm the lead singer with The Beer Farmers. Not the leader, the lead singer. We're all equally legends in our own right. That includes our crew and most importantly our fans.
I've been singing in technology related bands for many years, but eventually I found my true home in this outfit. Like minded InfoSec musicians that want to help make the World a safer place through our music.
Our mission is what drives me.
I also drink the worst beer out of all of the band's members. Budweiser™.
Grab me direct at https://twitter.com/appsecbloke
I'm John, the bassist and beer connoisseur of the band. Unlike the other band members I'm not from the UK but from Belgium. Psst, don't tell anyone, but the rest of the band are jealous that I can drink good beers WITH foam and eat real Belgian fries with mayonnaise!
Most important for me is that we enjoy ourselves and in the meantime get the following important InfoSec message across:
Don't take yourselves too serious, put your egos aside and fight together for better security.
You can find me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/j_opdenakker
I'm Ian and I'm the Percussionist: Drums/Cowbell/Triangle and your face. My hobbies include anger management. My dietary restrictions are single malt scotch or absinthe – it’s like a Vegan thing only for alcohol.
I'm down in London and for various reasons - mostly involving tax issues and I travel under various identities, like a fat, musical version of Jason Bourne.
I'm the least serious of the band members focusing on one-liners and improv.
I enjoy slapstick comedy but only when someone loses an eye.
I'm originally from Kanadistan, a vast land that exists north of the “Great Again” United States of America.
My musical influences tend towards angry women punk rock bands - I have all of their albums. I never really wanted to be in infosec, nor to be serious about anything but it takes a cyber village to raise a cyber idiot, so here I am to rock you like a hurricane of FUD.
Hit me up on Twitter: https://twitter.com/phat_hobbit
I'm Sean and I'm the guitarist (well try to be). Being in Scotland we have a few good beers, but don't tell the others, I cheat at times and have some of the finest Scotch which Scotland has to offer.
We started this band to be something special and I'm proud to be a part of it. All too often the InfoSec community can become an all too serious field. The chance of introducing a bit of light hearted entertainment is what attracted me to the band so that I can show off my terrible guitar skills.
As we said at the start of this post, its purpose was to introduce you to us and provide some background and our purpose. We'll be posting regularly (both individually and collectively) going forward, sharing our escapades, music and hopefully some fun along the way.