This interview describes a little bit of what you're looking for.
I do remember reading about him spending a few weeks in Whistler working on AOB songs, if he had a back-pocket song like "Weapon" or "Avalanche" I bet it would have made the album.
If anyone can correct me I also think the AOB tour never happened because of 9/11, they planned a U.S tour but could never leave Canada due to all flights being grounded, thus causing them to breakup. That's leaving 1 year for Matt to create Rabbits (in the article) and use the politics & everything happening in the news as a muse to forge together Avalanche. It's impressive considering some of that time would have even been spent in the studio in 2002 (Weapon was released as a single in October 2002). PLUS a year after he releases White Light Rock & Roll Review in 2004.
Side note: Near Fantastica was apparently written in '96 & A Long Way Down was the last song written on the album, from the words of wiki.
Nonetheless for any artist to pull off those type of in-depth albums in such a short span of time win my vote.