No-one tells the truth like an ex does, so Lightning Nation had former God Hates Astronauts bassist and longtime best friend, Nathan Jackson, dish the dirt on what you can expect from their live show.

Sweaty band members in your pretty face.

“Sweat is probably the most important factor of a GHA live show because it actually allows them to make their juicy metal come to life. It’s magic liquid. Chris [the front man] showers over the crowd like a Macy Day parade. It energises people. Put a finger to Chris’ sweaty body and you’re transformed. It’s like the exorcist…you know when she’s really calm one minute and then the next she’s freaking out. There’ll be a lot of heads that turn from the back.”

[Editor: Your references are very obscure, Nathan.]

[Nathan: If they were boring nobody would want to listen]

[Editor: Touché]

Your favourite pair of vans…destroyed.

“I remember, after the last GHA gig I attended as just a punter, I had to throw my pair of shoes away because they were fucked. They got ripped apart and I didn’t even know how. One guy got kicked in the head as well… he was pretty happy.”

Sweet sweet nostalgia.

“You can expect a lot of throwbacks to your favourite noughties bands like Audioslave, System of a Down. They’re not afraid to wear their inspirations on their sleeve. We used to do great covers as well. The three best covers we did were Cochise by Audioslave, Lonely Day by System of a Down, and Into The Black by Royal Blood. Especially the latter, people lost their shit in that.”

Dedicated fans moshing with or without you.

“Some of the GHA regulars are super into it. We had a couple of guys that were there for every single gig and they’d always work the crowd up. There was one time where we had one mosher on his own and Chris got involved with him. Ever since then he’s come to every gig. There’s always some toe-tapping and clapping too.”

Technical difficulties.

“I used to get on Chris’ shoulders for the breakdown of our Royal Blood – Out Of The Black cover. I remember the first time we did it was on Halloween and I was dressed up as one of the Mexican Day of the Dead dolls and Chris was dressed up as Donnie Darko and it was crazy. But he puts me down at the end of the song and we find out that the lead had come out when I got up on his shoulders.”

A do-or-die mentality.

“A while back we had a gig in Cambridge for a corporate company. So, I’m driving to the venue when I see a motorbike on the side of the road, half torn-up and completely fucked. I thought “shit, that looks familiar,” and 400 yards down the road I see Chris on his phone with his hand up and his jeans ripped, leather jacket scraped. I stopped and I was like “Shit, you okay man?” and he said “No. Shall we go do the gig?” So we went to do the gig and Chris has to perform in physical pain but he’s working it into the set. At the end of each line he’d be yelling “arghhhhhhhh” and the crowd just think he’s really amped, so they’re just really into it.”

Catch God Hates Astronauts at the Lightning Nation showcase night next Thursday at The Blue Moon.

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