Irish actor, musician and DJ Kristian Nairn, who you may recognize from a TV show called Game of Thrones will DJ the MGM Grand on February 28. The show is called “Rave of Thrones,” and revelers are encouraged to dress up in costume. We caught up with him via email just before his show this Saturday.
Metro Times: How is this tour going thus far? Kristian Nairn: The tour is going incredibly well! This time I was a little concerned because of the storms and weather. And also because it's not just the major cities we are doing, but smaller ones too. But to my pleasant surprise, the crowd has been consistent and literally amazing. I still have to pinch myself sometimes .
MT: What music is really freaking you out right now – old or new, what are you most excited to listen to or play in your sets? Kristian: House always, even after all these years, has that effect on me. And there are some incredible new tracks doing the rounds at the minute. It's all about the bass line for me, and at the moment there just seems to be a bunch of artists that really hit the nail on the head for me. The Enormous Tunes label, led by producer EDX, for me is getting it right every time.
MT: Have you ever been to Detroit before? Kristian: I have not. I have a few really good friends from Detroit and the surrounding area, so I have heard a lot about it. I'm really looking forward to seeing it for myself.
MT: What are your all-time favorite, top 5 Detroit tracks? Kristian: I mean it's less individual tracks but I think we owe Detroit more than that. Detroit was such a heavy influencer of techno and in turn tech house , with artists like Moodyman, Kevin Saunderson and Inner City. It really had a massive effect on house music and music in general. I don't play vinyl anymore, sadly. But if I did, I would be looking forward to digging around some of the city's record stores!
MT: Do you currently play any house stuff regularly from here? Kristian: I definitely like that techy edged sound in my set, so if not artists directly from Detroit , I would like to think the city's influence can be heard in there.
MT: Are there any Detroit-based musicians you’d love to meet while here? Kristian: I'd love to meet Diana Ross. For her part in the disco scene and huge musical presence. Actor-wise I always adored Elaine Stritch , who recently passed away. Such an amazing talent and personality.
MT: OK, enough about Detroit! I saw these images on kotaku, and while I’d thought that people might get a bit dressed up, I didn’t realize so many folks would attempt full on cosplay while also dancing. Has that surprised you? Kristian: I always love it when people do their own takes on their favourite character. For example, there was a Drag King Hodor there at a show recently. I loved it !! Or steampunk versions of characters. The fan's ingenuity really blows me away! And yes, it definitely surprises me that so many make the effort.
MT: Has anyone else shown up dressed as your character on the show? Kristian: Yes. Many times, and it's always awesome. I remember in San Diego, a group of people were wearing cut out masks of my face !! Haha. It's really bizarre to be looking into a crowd and seeing a load of yourself looking back.
MT: GoT is the most popular TV show in the world right now – what’s that like, to be a part of that crazy situation? How often do people just shout Hodor at you? Kristian: That's a popular question. In the context of the show and work, people do shout it and that's awesome. But it rarely happens in real life. When I get recognized people tend to be polite and respectful, which I really admire. I'm just a normal human being like everyone else. I just happen to be in an awesome show :)
MT: The tour is called Rave of Thrones, so I really respect that you’re embracing the cult status and going for it. What prop/ costume sort of elements are there to these events? What can show-goers expect? Kristian: Yeah. Some people ask that question with a negative slant , almost like I SHOULDN'T be taking advantage of it or any goddamn hard work I have put into achieving any degree of "success" I've attained thus far. But I always answer basically "Yeah , so what? Wouldn't you?" Haha. I won't do Rave of Thrones forever, and I'm a DJ and musician to the core of my being. It just happens to be a great way to let the world see that. The size of the production really depends on the venue. Alas, I haven't gotten to the stage of having a semi full of props and a bus of dancers yet , but as I say, some of the venues put in a LOT of effort. Dancers, fire eaters, thrones, themed drinks, etc.
MT: Anything else you want to add? Kristian: I don't want to make it sound like an Oscar acceptance speech , but I'm really so grateful to the fans for supporting us. I have a lot of cool things in the pipeline including releasing my own music very shortly. 2015 is going to be a great year.
Metro Times music editor Mike McGonigal has written about music since 1984, when he started the fanzine Chemical Imbalance at age sixteen with money saved from mowing lawns in Florida. He's since written for Spin, Pitchfork, the Village VOICE and Artforum. He's been a museum guard, a financial reporter, a bicycle...