By Kat Bein
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By Liz Tracy
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"I was scared to death," she says, "because everything I was used to was not going to be. Yet, at the same time, I was excited because it was an adventure, and I hadn't had an adventure in a long time."
The Lake Worth-based Weintraubs were raised in a musical family in Brentwood, Long Island. By the age of 5, they were performing in talent shows in public and, at age 13, harmonizing with their brothers on Frank Zappa songs at home. Evi performed with a few bands after high school, including a Rush cover band, but she didn't think much of her prospects in the Northeast, so she moved to Florida ten years ago. Gin, who had a job as a fashion designer in Manhattan, followed three years later.
"I had everything in New York -- all the money I needed, all the things I thought would make me happy -- and yet I couldn't get home to my guitar fast enough," she recalls. "I thought there was something screwy about this, because I wasn't very happy. I just wanted to go back and play guitar."
Evi and Gin formed INHOUSE as a duo and were soon making a living playing music full-time. "We would call up clubs," Evi recalls, "and say --"
Gin joins her in reciting: "Hi, we're twins!"
"It sparked interest every time," Evi notes.
"They thought, 'Gimmick,'" Gin adds, "and saw they could make money off us. We were getting gigs left and right."
In 1994 the twins brought in Kalasz, Williams, and Stein. (After several lineup changes, the band is currently rounded out by Bill Meredith on drums and Cliff Wallach on bass.) Stein, a New Jersey-born guitarist who moved to Florida 12 years ago, is Gin's collaborator, helping her expand the arrangements of her basic chord and melody patterns.
Waking Juliet is the band's third independent release. Over the past four years, INHOUSE has been mentioned in Billboard magazine, has headlined shows with audiences of up to 2000 people, and has opened for national acts such as Fleetwood Mac, Ziggy Marley, and the Neville Brothers. The band was recently chosen from among 1000 other local bands to perform as an opening act for the South Florida date of Lilith Fair, for which they'll play the smaller Village Stage.
Zeta DJ Kimba, who's been playing the band's music for three years on her Sunday-night show, "Zeta Goes Local" (WZTA-FM 94.9) feels that Evi and Gin's vocal power differentiates them from other bands and especially from other female artists.
"Popular female vocalists often have waify little songs and waify little voices, but these girls can rip," she says. "They played the Warped Tour last year -- which is a punk, ska kind of thing -- and they totally held their own."
Evi believes the band's sound may scare away record labels looking for radio-friendly fare. "We're not like anything out there, and we don't aspire to be," she says. "We're a bit of a risk."
But watching INHOUSE play songs from Waking Juliet at Mulvaney's makes one think otherwise. On this particular evening, for a post-happy hour dinner crowd, the band's performance is fairly subdued, as Stein picks the notes of simple two-chord songs while sitting on a stool. But the vocals are crisp and bold, Evi hitting the high harmonies and Gin remaining the band's alto anchor.
And, as Gin sings the line "Grasp at anything, 'cause I see no sign of slowing down," from the ultramelodic "Conquer the World," it becomes apparent that INHOUSE is no longer a brooding band of musical misfits singing about outsiders. INHOUSE is more media- and radio-friendly than ever. One can easily imagine hearing the band's music played alongside songs by Sarah McLachlan, Natalie Merchant, or any of the other female trailblazers who've made Lilith Fair the success that it is.
Upcoming INHOUSE performances include: the Underground Coffee Works in West Palm Beach (561-835-4792) Friday, July 24; the Pier Street Grill in Jupiter (561-694-1899) Saturday, July 25; and Lilith Fair at Coral Sky Amphitheatre's Village Stage Sunday, July 26. Doors open at 3 p.m., and the music starts at 3:30 p.m. For more information about INHOUSE, call 561-585-7917.