As is the case with many of New Order’s songs, the meaning of True Faith depends on who you ask.
True Faith has long been assumed to be about the sense of detachment felt by users of heroin, an interpretation that was denied by New Order’s bassist, Peter Hook. As he told Songfacts, “‘True Faith’ features some of the best New Order lyrics in my opinion, but no, it is not about heroin, that is not something that any of our lyrics ever touched on. I think it’s clear to see though that the lyrics do reflect being under some sort of influence.”
However, in an interview with Q Magazine, lead singer Bernard Sumner said that, though he had never used heroin, he still wrote True Faith from the perspective of someone who had.
Regardless of what it’s about, True Faith is one of New Order’s most popular songs. It’s my second favorite, after Blue Monday.
As for the video, it was directed by the French mime, dancer, and choreographer, Philippe Decouflé. Starting with a slap fight to end all slap fights, it also features a person in green makeup hand signing the song’s lyrics. According to Wikipedia, the video was inspired by an earlier video performance piece that was done by the Serbian performance artists, Marina Abramović and Ulay. I’ll have to take Wikipedia’s word on that.
Philippe Decouflé went on to direct the video for the Fine Young Cannibals’ She Drives Me Crazy, as well as choreographing the opening ceremony of the 1992 Winter Olympics.