psychoPEDIA: Daily News

Restaurant Road-Test: EKS
The Hysterics Chill Out With the Latest Addition to the Fro-Yo Craze

What better place to take a teenage rock band rock on a hot, sweaty August day than a frozen yogurt joint? This is what we figured when faced with a foursome of hungry rockers, a.k.a. Hysterics, and the recently-opened Williamsburg yogurt spot, EKS. (Note: the latter’s debut outpost marks the latest addition in the war on Pinkberry, as well as an answer to many Brooklynites’ prayers for a (non-Tasti D-Lite) Bedford-adjacent frozen dessert spot.)

While inside the subterranean interior (heavy on Murakami-meets-McGinness red graphics upon white walls) waiting for the band, we spoke with one of EKS’ owners, Edong “Neo” Kim. “What’s with the name?” we asked Kim, who is also an artist, filmmaker and recent MFA graduate of CalArts. He explained it’s meant to be pronounced like the letter ‘X,’ adding, “it’s a personal thing; I was a bad kid when I was a teenager and nobody trusted me, but now it’s different. I graduated with my Masters last year and I’m trying to be nice. I wanted to show them a bad guy can make something. We are not in competition with Pinkberry. We are selling yogurt. They are not yogurt [Pinkberry uses a powder-base for its frozen dessert]. All our ingredients are organic, including the secret one.”

As Kim gets deep into a discussion about live cultures, which they grow in the back, guitarist Charlie Klarsfeld, bassist Josh Barocas, drummer Geoff Turbeville and lead singer Oliver Ignatius arrive. “There are like 3 cop cars outside this place... I was about to light up and all these cop cars pulled up,” said the teenager. (Perhaps the Hysterics have more in common with Kim than just yogurt.) We tasted, and asked more:

How did you guys meet?
Oliver: For a short time we all went to Saint Ann’s together. Then two of us got kicked out.

You’ve had some big success for a band that is still in high school. How did that happen?
Charlie: Yeah, there was an MTV featurette on us when we where in 10th grade and 9th grade called “You Hear It First.” [Tasting the yogurt] Wow. This shit is good. My mom [photographer Pamela Hansen] would really like it. It tastes healthy and she really enjoys healthy snacks.
Oliver: We didn’t have a manager, which is good. It gave us time to write some songs and get really good. You don’t want to go out there as a kid band. You’ll get fucked. They’ll exploit you. But now we are grown men!
Jeff: We are grown young men... to some extent.
Charlie: We could have taken more advantage of that.

So, what do you think of the yogurt?
Jeff: it’s all right. It could get a little boring. I like the really sweet stuff.
Charlie: That’s the best part about it. That it’s not too sweet. It’s awesome. And I kinda feel like I’m in a Nintendo video game. This place is very Asian pop-cultural. Yoshi could pop out at any moment.
Oliver: A little bug just crawled into mine.

Eww! Really?
Oliver: No! There are no bugs in this establishment.

How’s the summer going for you guys so far?
Charlie: We just did the last show for the summer last night because I’m going away for a month to do some community service. I had a crisis and thought I didn’t get into any colleges, but I did. I’m going to Marymount Manhattan College. But we’ll be back playing in the fall. Check out the site. Actually we don’t know how to update that yet. But Jeff’s mom is going to start running it.

Would you say the band is a family-run operation?
Oliver: Less and less so, but they still drive us to every show. These guys need to get their drivers licenses and Charlie needs to stop getting drunk and driving his cars into trees. Charlie: Our parents spend a lot of time doing boring shit for us. And I don’t want them too. Oliver: I like driving with Josh’s dad after he’s had a few drinks.

Do any of you have jobs for the summer?
Josh: I make tye-dye T-shirts with my girlfriend and sell them at the flea market in Woodstock. My grandma has a house there.

Any final words on the yogurt?
Oliver: I like that they use live cultures. Good for keeping yeast infections away. Charlie: I still don’t know what that is.

Ok. Thanks guys.
Jeff: Thank you for the ice cream. Oliver: You mean thank you for the yogurt.

~Sara Costello

Go There:
EKS, 488 Driggs, Brooklyn, (718) 599-1706, 11am-11pm, 7 days a week




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