Like They Used To

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Like They Used To took form on a campground in rural Texas…


It started as most of my songs do – playing around with chords until some fit together enough to form a rough melody. I then will start to fill in some mock words that come to mind based on the vibe, fitting them to the melody, and then I listen back to those sessions to give some sort of structure to the song…


This one was interesting because I thought it could be cool to have this upbeat verse starkly contrasted by a slow moving, ballad-esque chorus. 


The single album art is pretty fun too – this is an actual photo of me I had found… young Case, at like 6 or 7, cheers-ing a room full of retirees… seemed to fit the sentiment of the song… 

Then following along those lines – I gathered a whole bunch of old VHS Home Video footage of me as a kid and cut it together for the music video... Especially love the opening rendition of “Danger Zone”… 😉

Demo Versions and Previous Mixes

Demo Version - First Point When the Song Started to Come Together! (definitely a rough cut)

Rough Mix - The Mix I Did Before Sending to the Mixing Engineer (Josh Tyrrell)

First Pass Mix - The First Mix I got Back from Josh

Like They Used To

Demo Version

Like They Used To

Rough Mix

Like They Used To

First Pass Mix

Behind the Lyrics

The more I pieced the music together and messed with those mock lyrics, a picture started to form…


For whatever reason, I thought back this time I had a pretty devastating breakup right after going to a concert with my partner at the time. The contrasting verse and chorus seemed to channel that rollercoaster of emotions. I also thought it could be fun to draw inspiration from such a legendary band like the Rolling Stones.


The upbeat, excitement throughout the show clashing against the backdrop of an aging band, still rocking out, but unmistakably changed. It seemed to mirror the transformation of a relationship once vibrant and alive, now weathered and nostalgic, like a bittersweet testament to what once was. 


And it added some fun to pepper in some Rolling Stones references throughout the song… 😉

you can check them out in the lyrics below!

Studio Recorded Version

Like They Used To

Studio Version

Like They Used To

We got free seats to

The rolling stones

The first record that I ever owned

How that sound is never gonna die


You had my hand

Exile on main

Nothing ever would be quite the same

How you could fake that look in your eyes


We hung around

After the show

Joked about how they had gotten old

But how it really didn’t disappoint


I said I’d drive

Us back home

Then your next words left me so alone

I never thought this would be the night


‘Cause they don’t play like they used to

And they don’t move like they did anymore

So why should I think it’s different

When you said you would 

Be there ‘till the encore


Guess you could say

I took it well

Smashed the glass I thought that I could sell

One more thing that I wish I could get back


We said goodbye

To three long years

As Mick sang, “I’m out of tears”  

So glad that I at least had caught The Stones


‘Cause they don’t play like they used to

And they don’t move like they did anymore

So why should I think it’s different

When you said you would 

Be there ‘till the encore


Well no one acts like they used to

And no one cares like they did anymore

Me thinking that you were different

Was a mistake I made 

Your beast of burden for sure

Live Recording Sessions

Recording Drums with Nate barnes

All of the songs on my record contained live elements from recording sessions with other incredibly talented musicians from all over the world.  This is one of those recording sessions featuring Nate Barnes (who is currently in Boulder, CO at the time of this recording) and is the Drummer featured on all the songs for this record!

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- :00 - 1:40 - Gameplan

- 1:45 - 5:15 - First Run Through Take

- 5:20 - 9:45 - Talking through take and Discussing Adjustments/Changes to Certain Sections

- 9:50 - 13:25 - Second Full Take

- 13:30 - 15:20 - Discussion on Take and Changes

- 15:25 - 18:50 - Third Full Take - **Best Take**

- 18:55 - 20:00 Discussion on Quick Punch In Take

- 20:05 - 22:35 Quick Punch in Take for Fills

- 22:40 - 24:00 Discussion on Additional Takes to Layer Drums 

- 24:00 - End - Secondary Layer Drum Takes for the Ending of the Song - wanted to have like a full marching band feel for the ending!

Recording Guitars with Justin Smith

This is an acoustic guitar recording session with Justin Smith (who is currently in Los Angeles, CA at the time of this recording) – he’s the main guitarist featured on the record, and in this session we try to hone in on a specific tone and feel for the acoustic guitars in this song.

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- :00 - 4:50 - Gameplan and Setup

- 4:50 - 6:05 - First Run on First Verse

- 6:05 - 7:45 - Discussion/Adjustments

- 7:45 - 9:20 - Second Run on First Verse

- 9:20 - 12:50 - Guitar Change // Reference Track Discussion

- 12:50 - 23:30 - Multiple Passes with Second Guitar

- 23:30 - 27:35 - Map Out Rest of Song

- 27:35 - 29:40 - Rest of Song Take with First Guitar

- 29:40 - 31:35 - Guitar Switch and Guitar Choice Discussion

- 31:35 - 34:55 - Secondary Guitar Takes

- 35:50 - 42:00 - Third Acoustic Guitar Takes

- 42:00 - 48:05 - Switch to Electric Guitar and Discussion on Tone

- 48:05 - 53:00 - Recording Verse Lead

- 53:00 - End - Sign Off

Liner Notes for Like They Used To

Drums – Nate Barnes


Bass – Pablo Arruda


Guitar – Justin Smith and case vannön


Vocals - case vannön


Producer – case vannön


Mixing Engineer – Josh Tyrrell


Mastering – case vannön