Hotspots Exclusive Interview
Many of you know Kristian Nairn very well for his role as Hodor in the HBO series Game of Thrones, but did you know that he’s a DJ as well? His resume is impressive, having held a residency at the largest nightclub in his home country of Ireland, and his subsequent turn spinning in dance clubs around the world.
That’s what brings him to Florida this month: two nights of fun, frivolity and sick beats which he calls “Rave of Thrones.” He will be in Tampa on Friday, February 20 at 10 p.m. at District 3 (802 E. Whiting St.) and in Fort Lauderdale on Saturday, February 21 at 9 p.m. at Revolution Live (100 SW 3rd Ave.).
I had the chance to speak to Kristian Nairn about the tour, about how he got started in music, and of course about Game of Thrones, in this exclusive Hotspots interview.
Welcome to Florida! What are some things you must see and do whenever you come down here?
I’ve been twice before, once to Pensacola for Pensacon, and last time to DJ in Orlando, and I can safely say that I love what I’ve seen of the state so far. I love your winter sunshine, although I don’t think I could handle it in the summer! I haven’t done any of the theme parks yet, although I’m usually too tall for the rides. [laughs] That’s a great excuse not to get on a roller coaster…[being able] to cite certain decapitation.
Tell us about “Rave of Thrones.” What can people expect from you when they attend this event?
“Rave of Thrones” actually has been evolving throughout the tour, and I think I like it that way. The decor and overall theme level is pretty much down to venue as to how much they want to go for it…but what you will always see is a lot of dedicated fans in some fairly spectacular costumes! That is one if one of the things that dawned on me about the night. Back in the day…I hate that expression…I think clubbing was more about a group of people coming together as one, people who you would never usually associate with, and it was a beautiful thing. Watching the music fans who are at the gigs mingle with the Game of Thrones fans and then becoming one organism in front of my eyes is very rewarding.
How did you decide you wanted to be involved in music?
Is it really something you decide to be part of? I mean, I’ve been playing musical instruments from the age of three, but yeah, I guess the decision was whether or not to actually make a career out of it. In that time of my life, the time when my friends were deciding their future in school, all I wanted was to be free, and play guitar in the metal band. I would still like that actually…who knows what the future brings.
You were a DJ in residency for over a decade in Ireland. How did that come about? Who gave you your big break?
I was working in the club doing some musical cabaret and stage work, and one night a DJ rang in sick. They were really stuck, and as I had a huge collection of music and I know the basics of mixing, I offered my services. The truth is, I literally haven’t stopped working since that night! I guess I did something right.
Which recording artists’ sounds do you really like right now?
I always enjoy what Eric Prydz puts out. Let’s see…anything from the Enormous Tunes label…EDX, Calippo, Croatia Squad, for instance. Then there’s Andre Sobota, Grum…so many great artists around!
“Game of Thrones” is a very popular show. Can you tell us about an interaction you had with the show’s fans that was particularly memorable?
Well, on the first leg of the US tour, in San Diego, a lot of people were wearing cut-out masks of my face. Looking into the crowd and seeing yourself dotted everywhere, let me tell you, is a really weird experience! Amusing though!
Between music and acting, how do you set aside time for your personal life?
That’s a good question. I always have World of Warcraft with me wherever I go, so I try to make sure I can retreat into Azeroth when things are getting to be too much. Other than that, I try to keep in touch with my friends as much as I can, because truth be told, I do miss home when I’m away.
Tell me something most people would be surprised to know about you.
When I was a child, I asked my mother for a puppy for Christmas, and she didn’t think I would look after it. So I got a pet goat instead. I called her “Bluebell” and I actually had her trained to walk on a leash! [laughs]
What does this year have in store for you?
A lot of stuff is coming up this year. I’m working on a number of my own tracks at the minute, which is very exciting. A movie I did a fun cameo in, The Four Warriors, will be out soon. There’s more DJing, and more on screen stuff! I’m so grateful I have the opportunities that I do!
Tickets are available for purchase online and at the door. Tickets for the Tampa appearance cost $10 online for early bird general admission, and $25 for VIP tickets (express entry and photo opportunity on the Iron Throne). Tickets for the Fort Lauderdale appearance cost $20 online and $25 at the door. Go to district3.us and jointherevolution.net for more information.
For more information on Kristian Nairn, visit kristiannairn.com. Season 5 of Game of Thrones premieres April 12 on HBO.