Cracking onwards: How InterChange grew from Glasgwegian house parties to top techno clubs
Dwayne, Jasper and Brendan of InterChange share some of their wildest tales from the afters scene in Glasgow
Functions is our new interview series profiling parties from across the world. This week: Glasgow's InterChange.
InterChange started how every good story does: at an after party. Brothers Jasper and Brendan met kindred spirit Dwayne while cracking on after Riverside Festival in 2018, and since then they've serving up top quality techno to the good people of Glasgow.
Their first venture began with the infamous 397 house parties that became legendary in Glasgow, transforming Jasper’s flat with some top-notch kit and setting the scene for many wild tales. In 2019 they evolved into a club night when InterChange began after the lads were given the opportunity to run an event at a friend’s new nightclub in Merchant City. With “no plan to start a night” the boys stumbled into creating what is now an established events collective. Jasper says: “I’ve always liked organising things and my grandfather was also known for famous house parties. Maybe they were a bit different but there’s legends there man. I don’t know, maybe it’s in the blood.”
Dwayne and Brendan are the DJs of the trio whilst Jasper works on the event logistics. Originally from London, Dwayne has been DJing around the world for 12 years and got sucked into the Glaswegian clubbing world. DJing under the name Mindbreak, he is one of the resident DJs at their events alongside Brendan, who DJs as Brass Traxx. Brendan got into DJing when hosting ‘empties’ at his mum’s house. Nights would start with a couple of friends over playing FIFA and grow to 50 people with a controller being played on an ironing board. Both Dwayne and Brendan reside in London playing small parties around the city to expand the reach of InterChange, while Jasper holds the fort in Glasgow.
Read this next: Through The Arches: A tale of Glasgow clubland
InterChange’s goal is to bring new talent to Glasgow as well as continuously contribute to the techno scene that is renowned throughout Scotland and beyond. One of their biggest parties to date was a takeover of Glasgow’s historic Rotunda with a three-floored rave, bringing Chicago legend DJ Rush and Swedish star Cari Lekebusch over to play alongside some local greats.
On May 27, InterChange will host their first party outside of Scotland at London’s FOLD and the next day they'll be back in Glasgow’s Room 2 with Viper Diva headlining both events. It’s a jam-packed weekend for the boys.
To celebrate their London debut we caught up with Dwayne, Jasper and Brendan of InterChange to hear some their craziest party tales and more.
Can you tell me about the music scene in Glasgow?
Jasper: The best way to sum up the music scene in Glasgow is that it has consistently been punching above its own weight. We are a collective from London, but born in Glasgow, and to be a part of the music scene is a big deal. When you look at the history of people involved, for instance Daft Punk were discovered in Glasgow by Slam and Dave Clarke. I think they used to stay on Slam’s coach when it was just two wee guys from Paris. Then you’ve obviously got Rubadub Records which is now one of the biggest distributors in Europe. They just started as a couple of guys, and got cheap flights to Detroit and stuff when none of that music was in Glasgow.
Brendan: It's predominantly a techno city as the sounds in Glasgow are quite harsh. So at the foremost are your Animal Farms that have been going about for years. For us running InterChange, it's just great to be part of a rich history of techno in the city.
Jasper: If you look at the line-up in Glasgow any weekend it steps up to Berlin, New York, London. My friend Gary Lawson founded one of our other ventures Electronic Glasgow which is a city-wide festival. He was doing that for years, bringing the best talent to Glasgow. Like he brought Future to SWG3. The best acts come to Glasgow and always leave with that special feeling. And we’re pretty mental so that helps.
What makes a night out in Glasgow so special?
Brendan: I’d say one thing that we’ve found recently is that an artist from Rotterdam called Speedy J summed it up quite perfectly. For him, after the event he said it was like playing at a gaff as everyone’s so friendly. There’s no negativity going on in your life as soon as you get to the door of the club. You leave it at the door and just go and enjoy yourself.
Jasper: I think that if you talk to anyone about Glasgow whether it's music or football or anything, there is an energy with the crowd. It’s hard to beat. Straight from the warm-ups, whatever type of music it is. The Beatles played here in the sixties and nobody could hear The Beatles because of the crowd. They were told they could never play here again because of the damage the crowd caused. So it's that energy.
And there can be misconceptions about Glasgow as if it has a rough city vibe, when recently ratemyrave were up doing a piece on one of our friend's projects and they were like, why are Scottish people so friendly? They got adopted by like three different club nights over the weekend. Dwanye is also the perfect example of this. InterChange was born from this. Dwanye showed up at one of my house parties one night and here we are in this interview with Mixmag. It's also a student city in a big way so you get a lot of students staying here and launching their career. There’s a young DJ from Iran FARNAZ and she’s really taken off doing a lot of stuff for Animal Farm and she sums it up. Once you’re here, you are one of us.
Read this next: Glasgow club SWG3 is using dancers body heat to power the venue
How did InterChange start?
Jasper: So I used to have a flat - 397 it was called and we’d never get noise complaints so we just started running house parties with friends. But I hated it when house parties would just become the same people over and over. It's a bit risky obviously as it's your house but we would always invite new people in. I remember one night these Spanish waiters, who had been out in Edinburgh that couldn’t speak English, just showed up. We put a lot of effort into the production and they were quite infamous.
Brendan: Initially when we did the parties we had a Pioneer SB2, but then we brought more bigger stuff. I was staying at my mum's so I would get these big chest of drawers and take them up to my brother's to put the stuff on. Somehow we ended up with a road sign and street cones just in front of the booth so people wouldn’t knock into it. We also had a wee spiderman on the window so when the shops across the road saw the spiderman hanging in the window they knew “Ay, don’t go near this gaff.”
Jasper: The alcohol shop across the road loved it when they’d see that as they knew there would be an array of customers. But yeah it was pretty mental — that was in my mid-university years but it grew from there. We got the opportunity from my friend who was opening a nightclub in town and he had come to one of our New Year's parties as we’d been doing them for a couple of years. He was like “you need to come do a night in my club.” And I’m the odd one out the job, I’m the hustler not a DJ, I just get to live the fantasy. I knew Dwayne had some experience, and as Brendan is my brother I got into this to help his DJing career. We were just helping out at the club as I thought that there could be an opportunity for Brendan. So at my friend Paul Sweeny's club ROST we had TWR72, Venice Calypso and AISHA on our first night. Dwayne really pushed us to go for bookings that we may not have had the courage to have gone for. But yeah, it grew out from there. There wasn’t a plan. We just started a party years ago and can’t get off.
When did InterChange officially become a thing and where did the name come from?
Jasper: So it was a 2019 New Year's party and we just decided from there. And trying to come up with a name is an absolute nightmare.
Dwanye: I swear we were sitting there for three days trying to figure out a name when randomly your other brother was like “InterChange” and we were like “yeah, that sticks”.
What genres do you guys cover with an InterChange night or is it just techno?
Dwayne: So, for the moment it is predominately techno but later on in the year we will do an event that isn’t techno. I did start off a sister events company called 411 Events which was trying to bring more drum ‘n’ bass and dubstep genres, so later on in the year we are going to combine the two events and do something that's not just techno and see how it goes. But that's all I can reveal right now.
Jasper: We want to give sounds that aren’t on the forefront of Glasgow an opportunity as we want to branch off into these other areas.
Brendan: Glasgow is a big student city so we get people from down south and abroad to come study which brings other genres such as garage and drum ‘n’ bass.
What issues do you face when running events?
Jasper: Most places in Glasgow have licensing laws that mean there are only a few places can stay open till 5:AM so it's hard to run things with your hands tied behind your back. We aren't going home at 3 o’clock.
So what venues are actually good to run events in Glasgow, and where do you regularly run your events?
Jasper: So in Glasgow we regularly run events in Room 2, Club 69, Container Studios and the Berkeley Suite.
Dwayne: The biggest venue is SWG3. It's a great venue and has filled the void left by the famous Glasgow institution The Arches which closed in 2015. It's a fantastic venue and does lots of creative work. During the pandemic they made masks for NHS staff. We're looking forward to getting back on track there.
Jasper: You can't mention Glasgow nightlife and not mention the Sub Club. It's one of the oldest in the world and has been going for over 30 years. Alongside the now closed Arches, these two venues put Glasgow on the map and there would not be a scene without the work of these two venues and all the people that have been involved. The death of industry by Thatcher in the late 80s led to a renaissance in the early nineties with Glasgow being a European city of culture. These two venues were at the forefront.
Brendan: We also transformed The Rotunda into a three-floor rave with a huge line-up including Chicago producer and entertainer DJ Rush - otherwise known as Major Rush, Russian Roulette and The Drum Major.
Read this next: Glasgow urged to mark anniversaries of Optimo and Sub Club in new motion
What have been some of the craziest nights you’ve held?
Jasper: I think we’ll be shut down if we share everything. But every club night is followed by an after party somewhere in Glasgow and we’ve had a few DJs go a wee bit mental. Our first night we ended up going to six different after parties.
Brendan: Even the flat parties have been pretty wild. There was a period when my dad was staying at the flat and he would walk in and straight out of the parties.
Jasper: We used to take artists back with us. We had the famous Dario Rossi back at our 397 flat and we’d done a competition for some signed bongos by him. You can picture the scene, there is this world class drummer in my wee Glasgow flat and he starts playing on the bongos in my kitchen. Then my cousin who is a fluent Gaelic singer starts doing some sort of Gaelic rap along with Rossi’s drumming. It was just a moment where you had to be there. But that’s the PC stuff anyway. I think my flat became a wee bit like the Haçienda apartments.
Dwayne: Yeah, like remember that time that guy came back to the flat two days later thinking the party was still on.
Jasper: Yeah, that used to happen a wee bit. There was also a basement under the floor where you would just open this hatch. Anyway, one time the police came and we literally put everyone under the floorboards and were like “nothing to see here officers.”
Dwanye: There was also one party that got shut down and everyone had to jump out the window.
Jasper: Ay, three of my friends were the only people that got away. They saw the police taking names and they saw their opportunity to jump out the window down a rope. Because there was a rope already there they could scale down. They were running across the roof and it was like Mario Kart or something. I won’t name any names but yous lot know whose you are.
Brendan: They went down the road and got stuck in a car park right?
Jasper: Well I didn’t say it was the great escape but it was an escape.
Do you think your night at FOLD is going to be as crazy?
Jasper: People will have to come along and see.
Dwayne: Well nobody could book Viper Diva in Scotland or London but we got him. So this will be his debut in London and then we have him in Room 2 in Glasgow the next day which means it's definitely going to be a crazy weekend. We also have the plan to make FOLD different from the usual by having some concept art, but those plans are in the talks. You have to be there. It took about three years for this to happen so it should definitely be good.
Jasper: To be part of FOLD is amazing as since it's opened its reputation is growing so the fact that we are doing this is an honour.
Read this next: Check out this 10 minute-long film about London club FOLD
Is there anything else that you would like to add?
Brendan: Since lockdown we’ve been looking at getting more young DJs, as from a small town myself I know how hard it is to get a place in the scene. I think that's definitely a big one for us going forward.
Jasper: Also, it has to be said that we couldn’t do all this without our friends. From driving us around to helping out with artists, they’ve been great. So big thanks to them.
Follow InterChange on Instagram and check out their next events here.
Becky Buckle is Mixmag's Digital Intern, follow her on Twitter