Since 1979 the guitarist, key-boardist, and accordionist (center) has led Denton’s famed “nuclear polka” outfit Brave Combo, whose latest project has been to score the sound track for As the Wrench Turns , a PBS animated series based on the NPR program Car Talk . The show debuted July 9.
How did this project come about?
Doug Berman, the producer of Car Talk , suggested our polka version of “The William Tell Overture” as the theme for the show. The TV producers went for it and asked us to do the majority of the scoring. We set up a studio so we could compose as we watched the video in real time. We’ll do a number of shows for the series if this flies. All we can do now is sit around and see what the response is.
But you’re not sitting around.
We’re going to the Midwest, the East Coast. We’re touring where the money is: festivals, concerts in parks, pavilions. We’ll be playing at Westfest, in Texas, in late August.
The band does many unusual things. What’s been your weirdest show?
We once played in L.A., and David Byrne came out with John Goodman and Bruce Willis. But as the show ended, the bouncers kicked them all out. Incredibly rude. That moment made me realize that nothing is going to be how I thought it was going to be.