tour diary

“I’m Normal as Fuck”: Ekkstacy Takes Us Inside His Worldwide Tour

ekkstacy tour diary

All photos courtesy of Ekkstacy.

When indie-punk singer-songwriter Ekkstacy called us up from the road, he was still nursing a hangover from his Bowery Ballroom show the night before. The 21-year-old ex-SoundCloud rapper just wants to be understood, he tells us, and the smoothed-out brand of post-punk he’s embraced has resonated with many a burgeoning emo kid. Three years after his biggest single became a TikTok hit, he dropped the self-titled EKKSTACY in January with features from The Kid LAROI and Trippie Redd. That led to a packed tour across two continents where some venues had to be upgraded thrice to meet overflowing demand. That included last month’s show in Los Angeles, where he currently resides—“but fuck L.A., dude,” he piths. For this week’s edition of Tour Diary, the rocker takes us through his life on the road, from getting amped before shows while listening to Christian Death to putting together the perfect jean and boot combo to let loose onstage.


EKKSTACY: What’s up?

CHLOE SHAAR: How are you? You’re in New York right now?


SHAAR: Where are you from originally?

EKKSTACY: I’m from Vancouver, Canada. It’s great there.

SHAAR: Do you go by Ekkstacy or Stacy?

EKKSTACY: Stacy. Imagine introducing yourself as Ekkstacy…

SHAAR: Do people ask if you take ecstasy?

EKKSTACY: People ask me all the time.

SHAAR: Have you ever taken it?

EKKSTACY: No. But hey, they named the drug after something. That’s where I got the name.

SHAAR: Well, I saw some photos from your Montreal show. It looked so fun.

EKKSTACY: It was so crazy. It was fun.

ekkstacy tour diary

SHAAR: Do you like a more amped up crowd?

EKKSTACY: I just love when people understand what I’m trying to do. I played a show in Boston two nights ago and it was awful. I could tell they didn’t understand.

SHAAR: Yeah, every city’s different.

EKKSTACY: I was so bummed. I almost left the stage. 

SHAAR: Really?

EKKSTACY: They were yelling at me between songs and asking me to do stuff. They were talking to me during my acoustic sets.

SHAAR: How was New York at Bowery?

EKKSTACY: It was okay. I drank too much and kind of fucked up the show.

SHAAR: It’s like that sometimes. Do you have any pre-show rituals?

EKKSTACY: Yeah, blacking out.

SHAAR: That’s how you do it. As long as the crowd had fun, it’s all good.

EKKSTACY: Yeah. I went live this morning to apologize, and they said that it was fun.

SHAAR: What were you drinking?

EKKSTACY: I drank a bottle of Grey Goose. I also love to listen to other people’s music before I go on stage. 

SHAAR: Drop some recommendations.

EKKSTACY: I was listening to a lot of house music yesterday because my friend’s a DJ and he was putting me on. But usually I listen to a lot of punk and metal to get me excited. There’s a band called Christian Death that I love. I always play their song “Romeo’s Distress,” before I go on. That’s a ritual right there.

ekkstacy tour diary

SHAAR: What about clothes? Is there anything that you like to wear when you’re on stage?

EKKSTACY: I like boot cut jeans a lot, and cowboy boots and ripped up shirts. It’s pretty much my uniform. I wear the same thing every day. 

SHAAR: All black?

EKKSTACY: No, blue. I like blue and white.

SHAAR: Very Americana.

EKKSTACY: Yeah. I like that.

SHAAR: What cities are you looking forward to?

EKKSTACY: I’m really excited to go to Germany again. Everything’s sold out in Germany.

SHAAR: Are you stopping in Berlin?

EKKSTACY: Berlin, Cologne, Hamburg, and they’re all sold out. We had to upgrade the venues three times for each one. 

SHAAR: Wow. What do you do post-show? 

EKKSTACY: Cry in my room alone. That’s what I’ve been doing on this tour. It’s so cringey, but I’m just being honest.

SHAAR: That’s okay. You got to let it out.

EKKSTACY: I haven’t had fun this tour yet, but I need to.

SHAAR: Who are you traveling with?

EKKSTACY: A small team. I have my band and my tour manager, and then I have my friends here too, just to keep me afloat.

SHAAR: How many people are in the band?

EKKSTACY: Me included, there’s four of us. I like a three-piece more, but I can’t play guitar, so I do four-piece.

ekkstacy tour diary

SHAAR: Do you play any instruments?

EKKSTACY: I do play guitar, but not well enough to sing and play it for every song. I produced a lot of the songs on my album, but I can only play sitting down, and not on stage.

SHAAR: What’s your favorite part about performing?

EKKSTACY: I love playing my song “Christian Death.” It’s the last song in my set. It’s my favorite song. 

SHAAR: Did you name your song after the band?

EKKSTACY: Yeah. That’s just my favorite energy for music. I’ve been trying to talk to the fans more in between songs. I want to be more of a human on stage. I don’t want people to think that I’m some stuck-up kid. I just want them to think that I’m cool. Just normal cool, though. Not cool guy cool. 

SHAAR: Don’t overthink it. Life is so unserious.

EKKSTACY: You’re right. My worst fear is people forgetting that I’m normal as fuck.

SHAAR: How many tattoos do you have?

EKKSTACY: I don’t know, there’s too many. I have lots of tattoos that are huge and they’re all covering each other, so I couldn’t even count. 

SHAAR: Do you have a favorite?

EKKSTACY: Yeah, I like my arms a lot. My back is really cool too. There’s some that I really fucking hate. If I could, I would just get rid of all of them.

SHAAR: You want to get rid of them? You have so many.

EKKSTACY: I know, I’m doomed. My shit ended up good, but I could do better. I’m just going to black out my whole body.

SHAAR: That could be a vibe too. 

EKKSTACY: Today’s a good day. It’s my best friend’s birthday and he’s here with me in New York right now, so I’m going to go buy him some presents and then go for dinner.

SHAAR: Love it. Where are you going to eat?

EKKSTACY: That’s a great question. I was just trying to figure it out. There’s this place called Milo’s, which is this OG Greek place that’s kind of sick, but I don’t know if that’s the vibe. It’s in Hudson Yards.

SHAAR: What’s coming up next?

EKKSTACY: Yeah, I’m getting an apartment in New York in April. I’m excited for that. Wait, are you from here?

SHAAR: I’m from L.A., but I live here.

EKKSTACY: I just left L.A. for this. I don’t like it. L.A. is lame. New York’s fire.

SHAAR: Yeah, that’s why I’m here.

EKKSTACY: Honestly, the best place for me to perform is L.A. That’s always the greatest show, but I hate living there. Shout out to L.A., dude.

SHAAR: Shout out to L.A.