All Men Must Rave: 6 things we learnt from DJ Kristian Nairn (aka Hodor)
If you’re one of the millions of Australians utterly obsessed with HBO’s Game Of Thrones series and the George R.R. Martin novels from which it spawned, then you’ll be well aware that the actor who plays everyone’s favourite statuesque House Stark simpleton, Hodor, also moonlights as a house DJ and producer, and will be touring Australia later this month for the appropriately-named Rave Of Thrones parties.
Happily for us, the actor Kristian Nairn is a lot more chatty than his duo-syllabic character, and he was more than happy to fill us in on his background as a DJ, what he’ll be playing when he tours Australia, and what he can and can’t reveal about the upcoming series of Game Of Thrones.
#1 He got his start as a DJ purely by chance
“I played in a club called Kremlin – unfortunately I’ve had to give up my residency after all those years, just with time being so short at the minute – but I was working in the club, sort of in an entertainment capacity, and basically a DJ that was supposed to be playing that night rang in sick, and I had learnt how to DJ when I was at music college…
“Really, I haven’t looked back since that night: since then I’ve pretty much been working as a DJ… It’s pushing 20 years ago now – which is totally frightening. I can’t believe it’s that long ago. There were two rooms in Kremlin: there’s a dance room and a chart/pop room, and I’ve always played in the dance room, so I’ve always been able to play a credible house set. I’ve been really lucky actually; I haven’t had to play One Direction, so I’m happy with that.”
#2 Jacking house has always been his jam
“It’s always been my favourite thing. Normally what I go for in a track is a bassline and piano – always. That’s always what’s floated my boat…or even a heavy drum track. That whole sort of Hed Kandi sound of yesteryear, and even before that. And the old sort of labels like AM:PM and stuff like that. It’s nice that that stuff’s really come back into vogue; it’s always been there, it’s just nice that it’s getting so much attention.
“When I first started DJing, trance was really big; house music would only have been a warm-up for trance. It’s interesting to see how things have changed: going through the electro phase, and the ‘80s influence phase, and some deep house and progressive house, and now we’re on EDM and deep house – which are definitely at two different ends of the spectrum, but I think if they’re well produced you can still kind of mix them together.”
#3 He’s getting back into production after an extended break
“I’m working on a remix at the minute…it’s actually with a really well known house producer here, Steve Smart. He’s basically remixed everything that matters in the last year, and I’ve been lucky enough to be teamed up with him. So, we’re doing a remix of an old school track, Brainbug’s Nightmare. That’s gonna be our first project together; it’s sounding really good, I’m really pleased with it. So hopefully that will be able to be played out in the next week or so.
“And I’ve got a number of other productions in the pipeline. I’ve had some scary telephone conversations – I mean good scary – about some of the events that I’m going to be working at during the year. Scary as in: “I can’t believe this is happening.” It really seems to be a good time for me, to be honest. The theme of this year for me is ‘strike while the iron is hot,’ so I’m going to work very hard this year just to see what can be done.”
#4 There’s not a chance in hell he’ll be wearing the Hodor costume onstage
“Jesus Christ man, do you know how hot that would be?! It’s two-inches of pure wool, and then added on top of that is, like, maybe 50 dead rabbit pelts, so I am not going to stand behind a fucking CDJ with like 50 rabbits attached to me [laughs]. I thought I would give it a miss, especially in the Northern Territories.”
#5 Sorry, he can’t reveal any spoilers about the upcoming series of GOT
“I’ve not had the scripts yet [for the next season], so I don’t know the plans. And if I did know the plans I wouldn’t be able to tell you [laughs]. HBO are extremely tight about what we say, so, yeah. But, to be honest I know nothing so it’s easy. I don’t want to know yet. I’m as interested as everybody else. ‘Cause obviously the first thing you do when a new book comes out is like, ‘right, quick man, just read the book and tell me what happens to my character.’ So, it’s interesting that you can’t do that anymore; it’s all new stuff. I can’t wait. I think we’re at a really interesting point with the character progression of Bran, and to a certain degree us [Hodor, Meera, etc.] as well. It’s going to be interesting to see where he takes it…
“But the only thing I have to say as a warning to GOTs fans is: you don’t know what to expect from George R.R. Martin. Surely after all these seasons and books you know that by now. If there’s a character you like, or a story you like, you can be sure that he’s going to slap you in the face with it. You know what I mean?”
#6 But he can reveal what he’ll be playing on the Rave Of Thrones Tour
“Producers like EDX and Nora En Pure – that’s what’s doing it for me at the moment. And there’s also a French producer called Monsieur Adi; I’m really into, sort of, French sounds like Fred Falke and that sort of thing…I’m really into that French house. I’ll probably try to do a progression [in the sets]…I’ll start off with the jacking house stuff and then, hopefully, move into the EDM stuff. I’ll see how it goes: I’ll just go with the crowd…that’s normally how it goes.”
Rave of Thrones tour
Thursday 28 August – The Hi Fi, Sydney Tickets here.
Friday 29 August – Secret Warehouse, Brisbane Tickets here
Saturday 30 August – Villa, Perth Tickets here
Thursday 4 September – Prince Bandroom, Melbourne Tickets here.
Friday 5 September – Discovery, Darwin Tickets here.
Sunday 7 September – Zhivago, Adelaide Tickets here.