As a 37 year old who's been in gigging bands since before he had his learner's permit to drive a car (15), I've seen so many bands do the whole 0-100 on an empty tank thing, and it never pans out. Going on tour with four songs written, even with a nebulous list of other song ideas to write sometime in between, is just silly. But a lot of bands do this. Pretty much every band I've ever seen that tried to do this had no idea what they were getting themselves into. I'm sure you have a ton of time invested with these guys, and yes, guitar players are a dime a dozen, but so are metalcore bands. Committing your vacation time, money, and energy to studio time and touring with a dime-a-dozen band without even a notable amount of material written would flat out be a financial mistake. I'm sure people in metalcore bands without material written will try to convince everyone otherwise, but if you have the time, you could probably track down a guitarist in his late 20's or early 30's who went through exactly what they want to put you through, who would advise against it. When you start a band, there's no "formula," but, as a rule of thumb: 1. Settle on personnel. 2. Settle on musical direction. 3. Settle on a name. 4. Write a handful of songs. 5. Rehearse those songs until they are tight. 6. Play some basement shows or local shows opening for other bands. 7. Make a demo. 8. Write more material. 9. Then, if you've found a satisfactory level of success after step 8, go on tour or go into the studio. Stuff happens, and your band might need to go back to step one at any time. If it's a major upheaval, you might have to repeat through steps 2-8 again. That's the part I hate most about being in a band - everything is so fleeting and people are so fickle. Is it possible to do this entire list backwards? No, I really don't think so. Maybe you write one song, come up with a name, then find band mates, and make a demo, and then go to the studio to write and record an album, but this only happens if you are independently wealthy, and even then you have virtually zero chance of success (Corey Feldman's musical career in a nutshell).