The guys of One Direction may have musically parted ways for the time being and after hearing first Zayn Malik, then Niall Horan, then Louis Tomlinson and Harry Styles' solo tunes, it was time for Liam Payne to show the world what he can do on his own. He's finally dropped his debut single, "Strip That Down," and any 1D fan can notice how each of the five OG members' songs are all so dramatically different from each other, which is all part of this hiatus magic.
But there's one line in Payno's new jam that has everyone wondering if they heard correctly, since it basically sounds like he threw some major shade at his former band. In the song, Liam's lovely voice belts out, "You know, I used to be in 1D (now I'm out, free)," and jaws hit the floor.
Could dear sweet Liam be on the cusp of essentially dragging his boy band days? Well, he opened up to The Sun's Dan Wootton on his Bizarre Life podcast and clarified, saying the line from the song, which he actually wrote with Ed Sheeran, isn't to be taken in a negative.
"We were very worried about this line, I never wanted it to be taken in a negative light. I don't think it's a case of 'now we're moving on' sort of thing. It's more so the freedom to write the music you want to write and I think that's what this break, this hiatus is for everybody," Liam explained. "You get to explore the music you want to do. Harry is out doing exactly what he wanted to do, Niall is out doing the singer-songwriter [vibe] he wanted to do as well, Louis has been amazing and gone out and done his thing with Steve Aoki, and obviously Zayn early doors did 'Pillowtalk,' so we're all free to do our own business."
Good to know, Liam doesn't regret his time in the band at all. In fact, he too believes in his heart of hearts the guys will actually reunite the band one day, when the time is right.
"First off, I thought that hiatus was some sort of religious thing, so when they said hiatus I thought we were all going to turn into monks or something. I thought that's what that meant. But I actually think the hiatus works out best for everyone because we all get to explore our music. The fans get to see a lot more of us, doing different things, they get different songs out all the time, so it couldn't work out better for everyone. But we will get back together at a certain point," Liam said. "I think we need to come back as a whole. It's like the Avengers, you shout and we all come running, that’s what happens."
1D as a bunch of superheroes, this is all so true. So when the band gets back together, is Zayn invited? Niall has previously said it's something that could happen but Liam isn't entirely sure.
"I think so, but I think there's a lot of things that need to be polished out there, but that's on him really. He doesn’t really support the cause. I've spoken to Zayn since and it's all fine and good, it is what it is. If he feels hurt and scorned in some sort of way that I don’t really understand, that’s down to him so there we go," Liam said. "It is very sad because One Direction was a wonderful, wonderful time in all of our lives. It was so much fun and I don’t understand how you can come out of that experience and say the things that he says sometimes, it doesn’t make any sense to me but there you go."
Hmm, a rather interesting development Liam has left us with. It's clear Liam and Zayn are on OK terms, but Liam doesn't really understand why Zayn has gone on about how he never really wanted to be in the band and didn't really seem to enjoy his time, while the other guys did. That's understandable, but Liam having the rep of being the dad of the group and now he's an actual dad — shout out to baby Bear— we have a feeling he would open Zayn back with open arms. Remember when he made sure to thank Zayn when the guys won their first award without him at the 2015 American Music Awards?
Liam went on to really tug at Directioners' heartstrings when he opened up about the day when he, Harry and Niall all rushed to be by Louis' side for his first solo performance on X Factor, right after Louis' mom Johannah tragically passed away. He explained that this moment was defining one for the guys not as a band, but simply as friends.
"It was very tough. There was three of us in the room to start with together, which was nice to see, I hadn't seen everyone for ages. The first thing I picked up was how tall Harry had got, he's just got massive, like super super tall out of nowhere and I as just like 'what are you eating? He's a growing boy!' But it was nice that everyone had turned up and I was so glad that we did," Liam said.
"We literally all flew the world over to get to that gig and Louis walked in and there was a really nice moment when we all kind of had a little huddle and it for me it was the first time in the five or six years we’ve been together now where we were actually fully best mates. We weren’t even a band that night that’s the first night we were fully like top top top lads. And yeah it was obviously the most sad occasion, it was bittersweet in a sense because it felt so lovely for us all to be there and yes, we are fully in this for the long run but at the same time, what a tragic, tragic, tragic loss."
Can we all just take a minute to process this information.
They've all been through so much together and knowing that in times of serious tragedy when it's the most difficult to be there for someone, the 1D boys will always have each other. The sign of true brotherhood. As Liam reminded everyone, being in this band is a rare gift.
"It was the most amazing experience, second to my child being born, that I’ve had, so I’m a very, very, very lucky man," he said.
What a gem, that Liam Payne.