Hold the Door! We Spoke With Hodor About 'Game of Thrones' and EDM

By Matthew Bossons, August 1, 2019

0 0

He’s a famous resident of Westeros and a comrade of the king, he can f*ckin’ hold a door and – you may not know this – he’s a superstar DJ. He’s Hodor, ladies and gentleman, otherwise known in real life as Kristian Nairn.

An accomplished actor, guitarist and deck master, Nairn has been busy since HBO’s hit series Game of Thrones wrapped up, touring the globe and wowing festival audiences – and clubbers at his ‘Rave of Thrones’ shows – with his progressive beats.

This fall, the beloved Hodor is coming to the Middle Kingdom for a special performance at Dragon-i in Hong Kong. Ahead of his show, we caught up with the door-holding badass to chat about EDM, Megadeth, Chinese food and his favorite Thrones moment.

We’ll start with an easy one: Is this your first time visiting China?
I've been to Hong Kong once before, and I had another gig in Macau. I’m always super excited to be coming that way, Hong Kong is such an incredible city.

We understand that music has been a part of your life for a very long time. Tell us a bit about your musical background?
I started out as a guitar player and I played in various bands throughout the years, including playing on tour supporting Scissor Sisters. I’ve always loved all different types of music, and I always will. The performance aspect is probably the thing I like best. Being a DJ is a form of mass communication with the crowd, I love the energy they send back.

Hodor-vs-Kristian-Nairn.jpgImage via Music Fest Asia

Tell us a bit about your influences and favorite artists?
The first DJ I really looked up to was Danny Tenaglia, and I still very much do. He has a signature style and sound that is very much his, and I greatly respect that. Eric Prydz is another. Besides his incredible music, I love how he incorporates cutting edge technology into his live shows.

If you had to pick a genre of music outside of EDM to participate in, which would it be?
A genre of music outside EDM? That’s an easy one – definitely heavy metal.

We’ve read online that you’ve jammed with Megadeth. Are you a fan of their music, and how did that experience come to pass?
Megadeth have been a part of my musical life for as long as I can remember! I was hosting Hellfest in France for Blizzard Entertainment and they’d set up an interview with them. When they heard I was such a huge fan, and that I could play, they brought me to their rehearsal space and let me jam for a couple of songs. If ever I had to say that a dream really had come true, it was then. I still can’t believe it happened – even a year later. 

Favorite Megadeth album?
My favorite Megadeth album would be So Far, So Good... So What.

Kristian-Nairn-GOT-Rave-of-Thrones-DJ-Booth.jpg
Image via Music Fest Asia

Fatboy Slim or DJ Shadow – who is more likely to be playing on your iPod?
Definitely Fatboy Slim. Although they are both legends in their own right, Fatboy Slim’s tracks would have had a bigger place in my collection. I even got to play a gig with him last year at Alexandra Palace in London!

You have performed at iconic venues around the world, including Vegas at Hakkasan, Omnia SD, Ministry of Sound UK, Schmanski New York and Mambo Ibiza, among others. How does the vibe or party differ in each space?
Every club, just like every country, has its own vibe. I can’t tell you how honored I am to have that list of venues on my ‘CV.’ I get asked all the time, which is my favorite place to play, and it’s just impossible to answer, as each spot is incredible for different reasons. It’s all about the crowd, though, and for that reason, I will say that Ibiza is a very special place.

July 2019 is your second time performing at Tomorrowland Belgium. What can fans expect?
I’m so pumped to have the chance to play there again. This year fans can expect to hear a lot of new and original tracks. I can’t wait to play them for that crowd.

Kristian-Nairn-GOT-Tmrland-2018-Pic.jpg
Image via Music Fest Asia

The live stream you recently participated in at DJ Mag’s headquarters was fantastic. How does that experience differ from performing for a live audience?
Thank you. The main difference is that without a real club audience, you don’t have the vibe and energy to feed off. That’s what inspires me and tells me where to take my set. I had a great time recording that, and it was definitely a very different experience.

Any sites or cities in China you’re particularly interested in seeing? You’re probably well aware that – much like Westeros – China has a pretty badass wall…
Oh. I don’t know, all of them? I don’t get to see much tourist-wise when I travel, because we are always on a tight schedule. But, to see the Great Wall would be something I really want to check off my bucket list!

If you had to pick, would you rather have to eat takeout Chinese every day for the rest of your life, or Indian-style curries and naan?
That’s so easy for me. Chinese every time. Growing up, my family ordered Chinese takeout regularly, so it’s for sure my favorite cuisine. Last time I was in Hong Kong, though, I had some incredible food, which really spoiled the UK version! That’s something I’m looking forward to about being back there – the food.

Kristian-Nairn-GOT-Hakkasan-Vegas.jpg
Image via Music Fest Asia

And finally, the token Game of Thrones question: What was your favorite moment of the series?
So many to choose from! I love the scene where Daenerys takes command of the Unsullied army and reveals that she could speak Valyrian the whole time. That was an awesome scene!

Can we pass along any particular message to your fans in China?
Absolutely. I’m so looking forward to seeing you guys, and thank you always for your support! And a special thanks to the Music Fest Asia team for arranging the tour.

This interview has been edited for clarity and brevity. 

Date TBD, 10pm-late; HKD300. Dragon-i. For more info, email MusicFestAsia@gmail.com.

UPDATE (August 14, 2019 at 4.28pm CST): This article has been updated to clarify that Hodor’s Hong Kong performance has been delayed.


WIN!

We’re giving away tickets to see Hodor live in Hong Kong on August 14. For your chance to win, share this post on your WeChat moments or other social media account, then take a screenshot and send it to one of That’s PRD’s official WeChat accounts (ThatsGuangzhou / ThatsShenzhen). Alternatively, send us a photo of yourself dressed as your favorite Game of Thrones character for a chance to win!

[Cover image via Music Fest Asia]

more news

World Music Fans Rejoice! Tickets for 1862 Live Are on Sale Now

Beijing-based promoter Stallion Era is bringing three excellent acts to 1862 Theater in September for one weekend of world music.

Shii Talks Debut Album, Being Creative and Juggling Music Projects

We recently caught up with Shii in Guangzhou to talk about her new album, other creative projects and more as she prepares for a tour around China.

Introduce Your Little Ones to Art & Music at this Magical Event

One Starry Night: Out of the Blue is the perfect way to introduce your kids to the world of art, music and culture.

Get Your Tickets to the Native American and Gansu Tribal Music Concert

Come enjoy the sounds of Native South America and Gansu Sangemao Tribal Soul this August 10.

Fausto Bahia Talks Mexican Club Music and the Roots of Label N.A.A.F.I.

We caught up with N.A.A.F.I. co-founder Tomas Davo (aka Fausto Bahia) to talk more about the label and the Mexican music scene.

Eating Music Give Us the Lowdown On Their Musical Boot Camp

It's gearing up to be a big couple of months for Shanghai-based independent record label Eating Music.

This Music Video Is an Ode to Anyone Who’s Ever Fallen in Love with China

We recently caught up with the man behind the project to chat about his newest song and the challenges of creating music that bridges cultures.

Get Your Music Fix at the 2019 Fête de la Musique in Shanghai

The music fest will take place from June 21-23.

0 User Comments

In Case You Missed It…

We're on WeChat!

Scan our QR Code at right or follow us at Thats_Shanghai for events, guides, giveaways and much more!

7 Days in Shanghai With thatsmags.com

Weekly updates to your email inbox every Wednesday

Subscribe

Download previous issues

Never miss an issue of That's Shanghai!

Visit the archives

Get the App. Your essential China city companion.