Just as Dashboard Confessional is ultimately Chris Carrabba, Time and Distance is ultimately Greg McGowan. Initially started as something to just take up time after leaving his prior band, the Charleston, WV-based singer/songwriter picked up his acoustic guitar and began pouring his heart out. Expanding past simply playing for himself at home, McGowan recorded a demo to sell at local shows and a loyal hometown following steadily grew. Still unsigned, Time and Distance released the EP Blood Loss for an Excuse in September 2003 through I-Surrender and was soon playing bills with Taking Back Sunday, Midtown, the Reunion Show, and Punchline, among other emo/punk acts. Over time, Time and Distance was rounded out with a full band, while still keeping its acoustic roots close at hand. Joining McGowan were guitarist Derek Reese, bassist Aaron Squared, and drummer Ryan Ware. The band next tapped the sought-after Matt Squire (Panic! at the Disco, Northstar) for production duties on their debut full-length, The Way It Should Be, self-released in August 2006. By the year's end, everyone but McGowan had left the group, leaving Time and Distance stripped back down to its solo beginnings.