The uke changed his life!:
"A lot's different since I first picked up this instrument; my life is quite different than I could have imagined."
At one point, it was his Wilson:
"If it weren't for the ukulele I would have been by myself."
It has political power:
"It's an activist instrument."
It's the perfect way to encourage a sing-along:
"It's such a small instrument. People are like, 'Let's help it out!' "
It helped his songs sound less depressing:
"It is a happy sound, and by using it to process some emotions that were less than joyful, it somehow balanced it out to where it didn't sound like suicide music."
It'll cure the nation's obesity problem! (But not its depression problem):
"I know for the vinyl version of the record there's going to be a real book included, with the music and the notation and whatever bizarre chords I've come up with. ... I'm just encouraging people to turn off the TV and play these songs if you want. Some of them are really depressing. But have fun with it."
Hear a preview stream of the full album at NPR and see if you don't fall for that lovable scamp, the uke, yourself (and/or decide to book a vacation to Hawaii).
[Photo: Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images]
- Eddie Vedder