Smash up

PHOTO/Brad Bynum

Nathan Sanders is the guitar player of the local metal band Idol Smasher. The group recently released a new album and announced that all proceeds from the sale of the album would go to helping a friend who was badly hurt in a car accident. For more about Idol Smasher, visit To donate money to help Vicki Holmes, visit

You have a new record out?

Yeah. Just recorded it with Rick [Spagnola] at Dogwater Studios. Got it up. We were going to release it anyway but then a friend of ours, Vicki [Holmes], got hurt, and it was like, let’s just go ahead and put it up online and sell it as a benefit for her, and then, as a bonus, toss in an actual CD when we get them, because usually we do all of our downloads for free. … So for now it’s digital only, but when you buy it, we note your name and as soon as we get the CDs in, which should just be a couple of weeks, we’ll deliver them to you.

What happened to Vicky?

She and her friend were on their way back from San Francisco and were in a really bad car wreck. She fractured her orbital bone, has eight stitches under her eye, a concussion, a few other things. It was pretty significant.

Sounds scary.

Exactly. She’s been a good friend of ours for a while. We were actually her first local show, and we’ve been friends since. She’s friends with the guys in Impurities as well, and as soon as we all saw it, we were like, Hey, we’ve got this new album, we’ve got this new 7-inch out, let’s just sell it for her. We’re not in it to make money. … Helping out a friend is better.

You have a 7-inch out as well?

Yeah, we have a split 7-inch out with another band, Victims of the Cave. It’s the first three songs we ever released and then two by them. Those just came out. They’re multicolored. We have all sorts of crazy colors. Right now, for the benefit, they’re $5, and you can pick your color.

So the money goes to help with her medical bills?

Yep. She has a GoFundMe up, and all the money we sell from the new CD, or digital download and CD or 7-inch, goes right to her.

Does she have insurance?

No. She’s really young, not even 21 yet.

What’s the album called?

Death Whistle. I saw a video a long time ago of a guy using an Aztec death whistle, and I though it was the most terrifying sound I've heard in my whole life. And at the end of this video on YouTube somebody combines the sounds to make it sound like what it would if there were 100s of people actually blowing this death whistle, and it's just terrifying. And a good buddy of mine who's done a lot of artwork for our shirts and stuff—we were going through the artwork he had available, and we came across the artwork that's on the album, and everybody thought it was so cool. And I said, if we use that, we have to call the album Death Whistle, and I have to buy an actual death whistle to use on the album.

So, did you?

Yep, the last song, “Death Whistle,” on the intro, you can hear it a couple of times and on the outro, there's this terrifying scream and that is the death whistle.

What is it? It’s an Aztec thing?

It's what they used to use. It basically mimics a terrifying human scream, and there's someone I found on Etsy who makes them, and they sound like real Aztec death whistles. … So we of course ordered the creepiest one we could find.