Rhythm guitarist Richey Edwards and bass guitarist Nicky Wire wrote the lyrics for this song. Interviewed around the time of the single's release, Wire said that he was "completely confused" by "Faster," although Edwards had told him that it was about self-abuse.
Speaking to NME October 8, 2011, Wire said: "It's my title. I think the outro 'man kills everything' is mine. 'If you stand up like a snail…' is a Chinese proverb. So it's a perfect synthesis of everything really."
He added: "I think 'I know I believe in nothing but it is my nothing.' is the great catchphrase of the '90s. And for him (Edwards) to actually write 'I am stronger than Mensa, Miller and Mailer', it shows an almost heroic self-indulgence, really."
We hear the actor John Hurt say at the start of the song: "I hate purity. Hate goodness. I don't want virtue to exist anywhere. I want everyone corrupt." The sound clip comes from the 1984 film adaptation of George Orwell's novel, 1984.
The Manics famously performed the song on Top Of The Pops in paramilitary combat gear and balaclavas. Many viewers interpreted this as a show of support for the IRA and the BBC received 25,000 complaints - a record for the program.