There’s cosplay, and then there’s cosplay with a character doing something totally unexpected.
This is precisely the incredible cognitive dissonance inspired by “Toad Drummer,” a musician who has dressed up as Toad, and then performed metal songs in-character, including the drumming, on Twitch and TikTok. Watching someone in Toad cosplay absolutely whaling on the drums is already an incredible sight. But hearing Toad deliver those famous lines: “Darkness imprisoning me,” feels like an out-of-body experience.
Sunfyre first dressed as Toad on January 8, for her Twitch stream, performing Metallica and Slayer “a cappella as Toad.” When she uploaded the clips from her live stream to TikTok, the views started piling in. As of 2020, she had 5,000 followers — a number that started to grow when she posted Slipknot covers. But it wasn’t “until I did Toad everything blew up!” Sunfyre told Polygon via email. At the time of writing, she has more than 317,000 followers on TikTok.
“Since I was little I’ve always been goofy and liked doing silly high pitched voices especially when I’m streaming,” Sunfyre said. “I just become super goofy, as some may say I have ‘chaotic energy,’ always joking around with different voices and dancing out of nowhere on my live streams. I just want to make people laugh and it just happens randomly.”
A drummer since age ten, Sunfyre grew up playing in talent show bands, and later started playing in local venues as a college student in New York. Three years ago, she decided to begin drumming on Twitch, with an e-kit given to her by a viewer. She’s also no stranger to drumming in cosplay — she began drumming in-costume on her Twitch channel in 2019.
“Toad is just one out of hundreds of costumes that I’ve done,” Sunfyre said. “I always wanted to stand out and be different than the rest of the drummers without costumes. Also being a female Hispanic streamer set me aside from everyone else and the UV body paint and costumes was too much fun to not do it. I grew up with Nintendo 64 and I had already done Mario, Luigi and Peach so I thought Toad would be another fun option to do.”
Sunfyre performed classics like Slayer’s “Raining Blood” and AC/DC’s “Back in Black,” all in Toad’s signature high-pitched tone. But she’s also performed in other costumes, like as Link while adding metal drumming to Lost Woods, and as Elastigirl/Mrs. Incredible while adding metal drumming to “The Incredits.” The whole thing has been a blast, as she tells it — though she admittedly does worry about bothering her downstairs neighbors, during her three-hour Twitch streams.
“I would have never imagined my Toad performances to take off this much all over the internet and I’m all for it if people are having a laugh out of it,” Sunfyre said. “All I ever want is to entertain people with silly comedy but also I want to show the world what I’m truly passionate about, not just Toad but my hype performances, improv drumming and wearing crazy costumes just to bring something different to the world of entertainment and music.”