Graham Nash said he often wonders what he did right to achieve his level of success, while others didn’t make it.

At 81 he’s set to release a new album, Now, which explores a series of reflections about his life, his regrets, his doubts about the present and his optimism for the future.

Asked in a new Spin interview if he thought about how he achieved so much success, Nash laughed, “Yeah, because there are so many people that are much better musicians than I am that are nowhere. And I particularly feel it when I go back to Manchester in England. I still see my old friends in there still digging graves, and they still hate their boss and they still hate work. And I go, ‘Why me? Why was it me that left and got rewarded by all this success?’”

He admitted he never came up with an answer, although he kept asking himself. However, he reflected that what he learned over the years was that “life is short.” He argued that “your time goes insanely fast, and we must make the correct choices for our lives. Do I go left? Do I talk to him? Do I do this? That’s all life is: choices that you make. And you have to make the correct choices to get to be 81 and still rocking.”

Remaining hopeful was important, Nash added. "I am, because what else can you do?" he said. "You’ve got to hope it’s going to be better. You’ve got to. You’ve got to reflect the times in which you live. You’ve got to talk about what’s going on politically and environmentally." He said that’s why he faced some personal demons on Now, including the death of former bandmate David Crosby. "I have to be courageous. I have to open up my heart. I have to be courageous enough to put my heart on my sleeve and hope people don’t knock it up with a billy club. … Sometimes you can just hope for the very, very best of what life throws at you. You better deal with it or else you are hopelessly out of tune."

He agreed that keeping hold of conviction and positivity was essential. “I’m very delighted to be 81 years old and still rocking like this,” he said. “And I hope it goes on for another 20 years. Why not?”

Now comes out Friday and is available for preorder. Nash is currently touring North America, with dates to follow in Europe and the U.K.

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