PLAYING songs from your back catalogue can be likened to getting re-acquainted with old friends.
Archie Roach is looking forward to the prospect as he's about to launch a box set, Creation, at the Boomerang Festival.
"One important thing I've realised is that the songs have actually grown," Roach says. "Even though I haven't done a lot of them for a while, they've grown in the sense that when I first wrote them, when I recorded them, they were pretty new.
"Now I have a better idea of what, not so much of what they're about, but how to interpret them. I re-interpret those old songs (when I play them now)."
Creation features songs from four of Roach's previously released albums 1990-2002 as well as demos and some live recordings.
"Some people have become fans just listening to that one album and they haven't heard the stuff I'd done earlier," Roach explains.
"It's good to bring them out and give people an idea of what I've done before Into The Bloodstream."
Last year's Into The Bloodstream came off the back of some difficult times in Roach's personal life. His wife died in 2010 and he suffered a stroke in the same year. In 2011 he recovered from lung cancer thanks to early diagnosis.
Through these times Roach says he's thankful to have music and approaches life differently now.
"Expressing my gratitude for being here, each day is just wonderful," Roach says. "The outlook is a lot different.
"It helps you, especially if you've got music. It's a good place to go."
While Roach isn't new to winning awards, including several ARIAs, he was happy to accept a NIMA (National Indigenous Music Award) for album of the year (Into The Bloodstream), cover art of the year and to be inducted into the NIMA Hall of Fame.
His song Took The Children Away was also added to the National Film and Sound Archive recently.
"It's like the old tradition of preserving our history and songs and passing them down from generation to generation, it's more or less the same thing. It seems like songs and music - especially when they mean something to you - should be kept and passed down."
When Roach heads on stage at Boomerang Festival he'll be happy to bring back his old favourite, Small Child.
"It's only two chords," he says. "But it just has a good feel to it. It talks about my spirit, which I liken to a small child. That guides me through life, that small child; he guides my steps each day."
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