The members of Three Days Grace began bashing punk chords when they were in their teens, carving a derivative yet energetic sound that fueled their live performances. Three Days Grace was formed in Norwood, Ontario, Canada, in 1997 by Adam Gontier (vocals, guitar), Brad Walst (bass), and Neil Sanderson (drums). The group was originally called Groundswell, a five-piece that lasted from 1992 until transforming to a trio five years later. Gontier and Walst were raised in Norwood, and many of their songs were inspired by living in a place with a population of around 1,500. The bandmembers were still in high school when they had their first gig, and they performed anywhere that would accept them -- including opening for a movie.
Three Days Grace eventually relocated to Toronto and were introduced to producer Gavin Brown by their old manager. The band gave Brown a private set, and he selected what he felt were the most promising tracks. The group then produced a demo for EMI Music Publishing Canada. With Brown at the helm, Three Days Grace recorded "(I Hate) Everything About You." The tune got them a publishing deal with EMI, and they soon were signed to Jive after being courted by the company's president. Brown and Three Days Grace were sent to a studio in Boston, MA, to start the group's debut album. The band completed its self-titled full-length in Woodstock, NY, at an isolated location free from big-city distractions. Heavily influenced by Kyuss and Sunny Day Real Estate, the dark, angst-ridden tales of small-town love and hate on Three Days Grace brought the group a Next Big Thing tag. Three Days Grace was released on July 22, 2003, by which time "(I Hate) Everything About You" was already hit on alternative radio stations in Canada.