For Liam Payne, the end of massively successful boy band One Direction meant starting over in a lot of ways.
“The one thing I’ll say to people who are getting into doing all this sort of stuff is the success is the bit that’ll kill ya, more than anything,” Payne said on the latest episode of the podcast “Table Manners with Jessie Ware.” “When it’s not successful, you’re just kind of working harder at it, depending on the person… The successful bit, it just scared the s*** out of me, and I wanted nothing to do with it. There’s no stop button, and you have no control over your life. That’s why I lost complete control of everything.”
Payne, now 26, was a teenager when he joined the group. Once the band ended their run in 2016, he found himself lost.
“I literally spent the last two years of this, in and out of doing the music, trying to learn to be a person, if that makes sense,” he said.
He was totally comfortable looking at a business deal, but more mundane chores were a mystery. “Someone asked me how to pay car insurance. I haven’t got any f***ing clue,” Payne said. “You’re really grown up in some things. In other things, you’re like a baby.”
For one thing, Payne said he’s been more disciplined about staying healthy than when he was in the band.
“I think our time schedule was just a mess,” he said. “I used to get off stage, high off the endorphins or whatever and get horrendously drunk, get up at, like, five o’clock in the afternoon and then do it all again.”
He remembers being “just really drunk every day,” gaining weight and hearing a sobering message from his manager after he went through “a real episode.”
“After that,” Payne said, “I kind of just thought, you’re either gonna end up a crazy child star who dies at whatever age or you’re gonna live, laugh and actually get on with it properly.”
Looking back, Payne realized he was in “self-destruct mode,” and he needed One Direction to end.
“I needed to stop, definitely,” he said. “It would have killed me. One hundred percent.”
On Friday, Payne revealed that his first solo album, LP1, will be out Dec. 6.
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