Lard is the culmination of Jello Biafra, Al Jourgensen, Paul Barker and Jeff Ward. The band formed in 1989; Jello Biafra a spoken word artist and virulent anti-music censorship campaigner (and ex-front man of The Dead Kennedys), Al Jourgensen and Paul Barker the minds behind infamous industrial group Ministry and Jeff Ward being a one time member of the Revolting Cocks, a group created by Al Jourgensen (and Richard 23 of Front 242 fame and Luc van Acker) in 1985.
Jello Biafra (real name Eric Boucher) rose to notoriety through the punk band the Dead Kennedys which emerged in the San Francisco area in the late 1970s. They gained a reputation as one of the more hardcore punk acts to come out of the US punk scene in that era, and for that matter, of all time. Classics like Holiday In Cambodia, California Über Alles and Too Drunk To Fuck consolidated a cult following for the Dead Kennedys and distanced them from poppy sugar-coated 'punk' bands then and now.
During his Dead Kennedys days, Jello managed to run for mayor of San Francisco: and came in a close third. However, in 1987, after several releases, The Dead Kennedys split after their last LP, Bedtime For Democracy was printed. The main cause of the split was the exhausting court case of 1986 where The Dead Kennedys were sued for supposed 'pornographic' materials contained within the 1985 albulm Frankenchrist. The 'pornographic' material was Swiss surrealist HR Giger's (who is well known for his Academy-award winning design of the Alien in the Alien trilogy) 1973 painting Landscape XX, which features erect penises growing out the ground. The jury became dead-locked and the case was dropped. Ever since this incident, Jello Biafra has been fighting a war against music and many other forms of censorship resiliently. He has released many spoken word albums through the label he helped create, Alternative Tentacles, as well as touring the world with his spoken word performances and doing projects with artists ranging from Mojo Nixon to DOA.
Al Jourgensen was born in Cuba and emigrated to the United States after Castro's revolution. After several minor bands such as Special Affect, he formed what is today a very evolved and polished band, Ministry, in 1981. The first album for Ministry was With Sympathy in 1982. Ministry developed throughout the 1980's, gaining an excellent reputation on the world industrial scene, credited as being industrial pioneers along with Skinny Puppy and Front 242. In 1992, Ministry released Psalm 69, which exploded Ministry onto a mainstream scale. The album included collaborations with Gibby Haynes from the Butthole Surfers and William S. Burroughs. Their latest release is Dark of Side of the Spoon, yet another direction for Ministry. Al Jourgensen has had many side projects, including of course Lard. Others include the Revolting Cocks, PTP and 1000 Homo DJ's. PTP, short for Programming The Psychodrill, had the A-side of their sole single Rubber Glove Seduction included on the Robocop soundtrack. A send-up of house music, Al commented: 'I wonder if Hollywood was in on the joke'. 1000 Homo DJs, another one release side project, included Trent Reznor and Jello (aka Count Ringworm) on thier release Supernaut, a Black Sabbath cover.
Paul Barker met Al Jourgensen in Boston, 1981. After playing for PTP, Paul joined Ministry in 1988. Later that year, The Land of Rape and Honey was released. Since then, Paul Barker has been the second and lesser-known member of Ministry. Since 1988, Al Jourgensen and Paul Barker have comprised Ministry. Paul Barker has also been a member of the Revolting Cocks as well as nearly many other of Al Jourgensen's side projects.
Jeff Ward played drums for the first Nine Inch Nails Lollapalooza tour in 1991. His other bands have included Low Pop Suicide. He met Al Jourgensen and Paul Barker through the Revolting Cocks. He subsequently provided backing vocals and drums for Ministry on their 1991 release, The Mind is a Terrible Thing to Taste. Shortly after the release of the first Lard LP The Last Temptation of Reid in 1990, he committed suicide.
Additional personel who have featured on Lard albums include:
William Rieflin, ex-Ministry drummer, now with KMFDM, on Pure Chewing Satisfaction (All tracks except I Wanna Be a Drug-Sniffing Dog) and on The Last Temptation of Reid (Forkboy and Mate Spawn & Die).
Mike Scaccia, guitarist for Ministry, on Pure Chewing Satisfaction (All tracks except War Pimp Renaissance and Sidewinder).
Rey Washam, another part time Ministry member, on drums for Mangoat on Pure Chewing Satisfaction. He was also member of the Didjits and Scratch Acid, an early incarnation of the Jesus Lizard.
So there you go: more information you can poke a stick at.