Neil Sanderson was born on December 17, 1978 in Peterborough, Canada. Sanderson took up the piano before he started school. He had an avid interest in music and worked with different instruments while he was in elementary school. He became enamored of drums during this time.
He entered the Norwood, Ontario high-school in 1992. Before that, he attended Adam Scott C.V.I High School in Peterborough, Ontario, where he met Adam Gontier when both of them were in Grade 9. With bassist Brad Walst, they practiced writing and playing instruments. They created the band "Groundswell" with Phil Crowe and Joe Grant.
Sanderson was also the drummer for the band Thousand Foot Krutch from 1996 to 1997.
Groundswell reformed as Three Days Grace in 1997.
The band's first album, the self-titled Three Days Grace, was released in 2003. Three singles from the album, "I Hate Everything About You", "Just Like You", and "Home" became hits, each reaching No. 1 on the US Rock Charts. This album has been certified "Platinum".
The band released a second album, One-X in 2006. That album reached fifth place on the Billboard Album Chart. Three singles from that album "Animal I Have Become", "Pain", and "Never Too Late" also reached first place on the US Rock charts. This album has also been certified "Platinum".
In 2006 Three Days Grace won an American Billboard "Song of the Year" award.
Speaking of the band's comeback from problems in 2007 (when a band member spent time in rehab) Sanderson said, "Now it's all about maintaining that communication, and it makes [touring] so much easier and a so much more enjoyable experience."
Sanderson was thrilled by the success of Three Days Grace. Speaking in Greensboro, North Carolina during their 2008 tour, he said: "We get to blow stuff up onstage now. We like to put in as much production and lights as we can. The seizure factor has gone way up." Speaking of the band's move to larger playing sites, he continued "It's great to be able to see everybody in a smaller place. But the same people who were there in the early days are still there for us." Speaking of fan response to album songs, he said: "[W]e also play a lot of album tracks, and the crowd sings along just as much for those. These days, you have to make an awesome album. I think we're getting back to where people want to hear real stuff, since so much is contrived these days."
In 2009 the band released the album Life Starts Now. It was initially listed at number three on the Billboard album chart.
Sanderson is part owner of an artist development company and songwriting collective, Püblicwürks, based in Toronto and Nashville. He and Canadian songwriter Casey Marshall met as fellow EMI writers and began working together. Marshall said about the project: "We always talked about how there used to be people in the industry who would trust their own ears and take a chance on other artists who had yet to find their true identity…where did they all go?"
Sin Lucas, writing in The Silver Tongue said "It’s hard to pick a highlight ... but the drum solo by Neil Sanderson was nothing short of spectacular." A reviewer for Electric City wrote of Sanderson's "impressive chops and accuracy." But Nikki M. Mascali of The Weekender wrote of the same performance "Though an interesting concept, it was an unnecessary lull in the show."