Marble Canyon had just gotten off the ground when frontman Jason Greenway was forced to take a break.
"I had a thing growing on my voicebox," he says. "It just hurt when I would sing. I went and saw some specialists and got some scopes done... I had to stop for a year and then it went away."
That was shortly after the band had formed as a three-piece and released its debut EP, A Place to Rest. So, instead of continuing to tour, Greenway spent time writing songs. "We ended up recording five more songs over a year," he says. "I was going to release those as another EP but decided to make it a full-length album."
The Whistler-based alt-country band also began to morph over that time, picking up Radim Koppitz on violin, Kris Branch on lead guitar and, more recently, Pilar Peterson on vocals and percussion (that's in addition to Brian MacDonald on bass and Mark Bannock with drums and vocals).
"We recorded the first five songs in Vancouver," Greenway says. "We took a bunch of trips down there. And I also brought in a bunch of other players too. I was building the band at the same time."
It was challenging getting everyone together to record in the city, but, song by song, they worked away at it. In the end, the time between each recording was useful, he says. "I was producing at the same time as recording. It was good to hear it and go back and record a bit and change some stuff. One of the songs I ended up hearing I wanted some trumpet on it for some reason — I don't know why. I had never wanted that before. So Kent Wallace from Five Alarm Funk is on one track," he says.
It might have been useful to take their time, but that said, "I don't want it to take three years again," Greenway adds.
The result of that work is The Other Side, Marble Canyon's first full-length record, due out on April 24. "(The songs) delve into a lot of different subjects," Greenway reveals. "School bullying to a lot of serious stuff, but with a candy wrapper kind of deal."
To kick off the long-time-coming record, the band is planning an album release party at the Maury Young Arts Centre on Saturday, March 24, exactly a month before it's available. "The party is a warming party," he says. "Everybody will get a download of the album a month before it's released and there's a bunch of prizes. I chose to do it exactly one month earlier. I think it's cool for people to come and have that album a month prior to release. Then it gives us time to market it before it's released."
The band also opted for a theatre setting over a bar show to help highlight those songs. "It's different," Greenway says. "I want people to come listen to the music. They have a bunch of media too that we can use. It's more of a show."
The party will also feature sets from Virginia Leaves and Northern Ignition (who are taking the place of Lazy Ghost after they had to pull out for personal reasons) and carry on to an afterparty at the Brewhouse where Vinyl Ritchie will DJ.
If you can't make it to the event, keep an eye on the band's website for a link to the download next month. CDs and vinyl will also follow, Greenway adds. "We're pressing vinyl, but it takes two months to press," he adds. "(Vinyl) is more of a physical thing. It seems everybody is buying (it) now."
Next up, they plan to tour the record around the Lower Mainland and in the Kootenays. "If it works out (we'll go further)," Greenway says. "It's hard to get seven people together to do that. Right now, I'm concentrating on what's happening right now."
But the other thing happening right now: "We're already writing for the next album. It's half done. We're busy, but looking forward all the time."