When One Direction announced their hiatus back in 2015, it was definitely heartbreaking for millions of people all over the world. As fans know, the group — which was made up of Harry Styles, Liam Payne, Niall Horan, Louis Tomlinson and Zayn Malik — was put together by Simon Cowell after all the guys auditioned on The X Factor as solo artists back in 2010. They went on to release five epic albums together, embark on numerous world tours, sell out massive stadiums, release their own perfume, drop a few concert movies, break a lot of records and so much more!
Since they went their separate ways five years ago, the guys have all spoken out about their time in the band in numerous interviews. And while some of them look back at it and feel warm and fuzzy inside, other members of the group are not so fond of it, and have thrown quite a bit of shade towards their former group mates. We went ahead and rounded up everything they have ever said about their time in 1D — the good and the bad. Here’s what each member has said…
During a 2017 interview with Another Man Magazine, Styles had nothing but positive things to say about his time in the band.
“I feel good about everything that happened with the band, I have no complaints or regrets,” he gushed.
And when asked about the possibility of them reuniting, the singer added, “I would never say we’ll never do anything again but it’s good for us to be exploring different things. Maybe at some point everyone will want to do something again but it’s better if it happens naturally like, ‘Hey, we all really want to do this again.’ If that were to happen it would be amazing. I would never rule that out. It’s the most important, greatest thing that ever happened to me, being in that band. It completely changed my life.”
When asked why they split in the first place, Styles told RollingStone Magazine a few months later, “I didn’t want to exhaust our fan base. If you’re shortsighted, you can think, ‘Let’s just keep touring,’ but we all thought too much of the group than to let that happen. You realize you’re exhausted and you don’t want to drain people’s belief in you.”
He added, “I love the band, and would never rule out anything in the future. The band changed my life, gave me everything.”
Plus, when 1D celebrated their 10-year anniversary earlier this year, Styles took to Instagram to celebrate.
“I’ve been struggling to put into words how grateful I am for everything that’s happened over the last 10 years. I’ve seen things and places that I’d only ever dreamt of when I was growing up. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and working with some of the most incredible people, and gained friendships that I know I will treasure for the rest of my life,” he wrote. “None of this would be possible without the support you’ve given along the way. And for that, I will be forever thankful. I just can’t believe it’s been ten years. Thank you to our crew, our team, and everyone else who helped us along the way. To all the fans, I love you, and I thank you with all my heart. You did it all, and you changed everything. And finally.. to the boys, I love you so much, and I couldn’t be prouder of everything we achieved together. Here’s to 10.”
While speaking to Vogue in their December 2020 issue, he gushed over the band once again.
“I think the typical thing is to come out of a band like that and almost feel like you have to apologize for being in it,” he told the outlet. “But I loved my time in it. It was all new to me, and I was trying to learn as much as I could.”
“We loved being in the band,” Styles told the magazine. “I think there’s a want to pit people against each other. And I think it’s never been about that for us. It’s about a next step in evolution. The fact that we’ve all achieved different things outside of the band says a lot about how hard we worked in it.”
As for Tomlinson, he too has nothing but love for the band.
“I miss the band every day – I’d be lying if I said I didn’t. Of course I do,” he told inews.co.uk in February 2019. “It was an amazing time, so when you don’t have that same rhythm, you feel it. But that’s what drives me. It gives me something to aim for again. And obviously in an ideal world, who knows when, we get back together at some point and you know… whatever. But having that idea in my head of working really hard every single day, that gave me a target.”
He also told Vanity Fair that he feels “only pride” when he looks back on One Direction.
“Of course, I miss [One Direction] so much,” the “Walls” crooner said. “Like all those who have been part of that. We lived on a roller coaster and it was wonderful. We have traveled the world. We got on all the stages. I miss it and when I think back, I feel only pride.”
It turns out, Tomlinson didn’t even want to go on a hiatus in the first place! He told Metro in October 2019, “I wasn’t really ready for the band to go on a break. As far as I am concerned, I am happy doing what I am doing. But the day that [a reunion] does happen, and everyone is ready to do it, I am ready.”
He also told RollingStone, “First, I absolutely f**king love the band. I’m super proud about where I’ve come from. At the end of the day, I’m from Doncaster, and the band gave me such a nice opportunity.
The singer added that he thinks it’s a “desperate attempt to try and get cool points” when people leave their bands and trash talk it afterward.
“I f**king love the boys, and I love everything we’ve done together. And I still miss my time with them. I think any of the boys would be lying if they said otherwise. It was a special time in our lives, definitely,” he added. Our hearts!
Payne has admitted that the group’s fame took a toll on him and his mental health.
“When you’re doing hundreds and hundreds of [concerts] and it’s the same 22 songs at the same time every single day, even if you’re not happy, you’ve got to go out there,” he told the Men’s Health in July 2019. “It’s almost like putting the Disney costume on before you step up on stage and underneath the Disney costume I was pissed (drunk) quite a lot of the time because there was no other way to get your head around what was going on. I mean, it was fun. We had an absolute blast but there were certain parts of it where it just got a little bit toxic.”
The “Strip That Down” crooner also explained that he “went off the rails” during his time in the band.
“I was drinking too much and getting into really bad, bad situations for quite some time actually. And I hit a peak moment where I knew the drinking was going to get me. I needed to do something about it,” he said to GQ Magazine. “I spent a lot of time drinking to escape the crazy world that I had created for myself. I didn’t know what I was doing. That first therapy session and being like, ‘I don’t even know what I like or anything about myself,’ it was pretty scary stuff. I was afraid of how far my career was going and that it might go even further. You can say, ‘Who is afraid of success?’ But that’s what it entails sometimes. Success has got the better of me on more than one occasion. When I am losing I tend to concentrate more.”
In another interview, Payne revealed that during his time in the band, he faced a bunch of “erratic highs and lows,” which made things a “bit dark.”
“It was very touch and go at times. It was a point where every day, you didn’t know whether it was going to be the end. It was so touch and go, at every single show. I was slowly losing the plot,” he shared. “I was like: ‘I don’t really know how to deal with this.’ Once you start, you can’t really press the stop button.”
He also opened up about why they split in April 2020. He said, “We all just got on with it, you know, it was just a case of this is your job and this is what you do and then you just slowly spiraled into this thing. I mean, more than anything for us, I think the danger zone is in the band. And actually what probably caused the demise of it, towards the end, was just the tiredness more than anything. Everyone makes stupid decisions when they’re tired.”
As fans know, Malik shocked the world when he announced that he was leaving the band months before their hiatus. And afterwards, he didn’t have the nicest things to say about his time in the band. While speaking to Fader Magazine a few months after his departure, he explained that he felt like he was being held back creatively.
“There was never any room for me to experiment creatively in the band,” he said. “If I would sing a hook or a verse slightly R&B, or slightly myself, it would always be recorded 50 times until there was a straight version that was pop, generic as f**k, so they could use that version. Whenever I would suggest something, it was like it didn’t fit us. There was just a general conception that the management already had of what they want for the band, and I just wasn’t convinced with what we were selling. I wasn’t 100 percent behind the music. It wasn’t me. It was music that was already given to us, and we were told this is what is going to sell to these people. As much as we were the biggest, most famous boy band in the world, it felt weird. We were told to be happy about something that we weren’t happy about.”
He also threw some shade towards 1D’s music.
“That’s not music that I would listen to. Would you listen to One Direction, sat at a party with your girl? I wouldn’t,” the now 27-year-old added. “To me, that’s not an insult, that’s me as a 22-year-old man. As much as I was in that band, and I loved everything that we did, that’s not music that I would listen to. I don’t think that’s an offensive statement to make. That’s just not who I am. If I was sat at a dinner date with a girl, I would play some cool shit, you know what I mean? I want to make music that I think is cool shit. I don’t think that’s too much to ask for.”
Malik also claimed in another interview that “always wanted” to leave from the beginning. He said, “I think I always wanted to go, from like the first year, really. I never really wanted to be there, like in the band. I realized the direction we were going in — mind the pun — with the music, I instantly realized it wasn’t for me because I realized I couldn’t put any input in,”
“I’m able to look on it as something that was an amazing experience, which I was never even able to say until just recently,” he said.
And when asked why he thought negatively of it for so long, the star added, “I think back to the performances towards the end, when we were in stadiums, I wasn’t really ever able to enjoy the experience. The machine had gone too fast. We went from theaters, to arenas, to stadiums – there was never any sort of bridge between. Just boom, boom, boom. I guess that kind of progression to any mind – but especially when you’re 17, 18 – it kind of affects you a little bit. People take it different ways – especially when there are five different personalities. The relationships had broken apart.”
“It was just an experience that I didn’t understand,” he continued. “Over timem and being able to analyze it with my own brain and with the people that were surrounding me – my father, my mother, my sisters, my girlfriend, her mum, whoever it was – I kind of got to a point where I could understand what that was. It was cool.”
When asked about the band’s hiatus, Horan later explained, “It was incredible. But we got tired. Not tired of it, just tired out. I can never really remember any major bust-ups, just brotherly family nagging, s**tty arguments like that. But we were gonna end up killing each other. We all sat down one day, had a chat and it was like, ‘We need to take a break, chill out and try something new.’”
But the singer also claimed that he wasn’t ready for the band to split.
“I think it was just a shock. We were so used to what we did that it had become normal. We were in a bubble. Then someone just went [pop], and before you know it, you’re sat at home,” he said. “[The lack of closure] is like the end of a bad relationship. We were asking ourselves, ‘Should we end at a good time – big tour, massive album, going out on a high… Or, should we just keep going?’ It’s when you stop, that’s when you go, ‘f**k’. And I needed a few minutes to be by myself.”
On One Direction’s 10-year anniversary in July 2020, Horan took some time to reflect on the band.
“When I met these four gents there was no way I thought we would go on to do what we did. So many unbelievable memories we shared together. We felt the adoration of millions from around the planet on a daily basis and it was mind blowing,” he gushed on Instagram. “It’s such a major part of our lives and always will be. Cheers to us today boys and thank you to all you beautiful people who have supported us over the last 10 years.”