One Direction celebrated the release of their wildly anticipated Midnight Memories with an intimate iHeartRadio Album Release Party, shot Friday at the 450-capacity iHeartRadio Theater in Los Angeles and streamed exclusively on Yahoo Screen on Monday night. Along with singing six songs, they participated in an audience Q&A — barely heard above the din of hundreds of squealing, squeeing girls — and while the boys were endearingly, surprisingly shy, during the course of the hour we did learn a few things about them.
1. This boy band is now a man band.
Midnight Memories is 1D's third (yes, THIRD) album in just two years, and the lads are growing up fast: Some of them are sporting facial hair and Joy Division T-shirts, one of them's engaged, and let's face it, they're all pushing 21, so they can't really sing Radio Disney ditties about holding hands anymore. So Midnight Memories is their make-or-break, potentially difficult "transitional album."
Thankfully, Midnight Memories' sound indicates that 1D may totally bypass any awkward phase. It's a very "mature" album — and by "mature," we mean "totally '80s" (there are shades of the Police, Rick Springfield, and Def Leppard, and plenty of cowbell and gang choruses). And then there's the new single "Story Of My Life," which is pleasingly Mumfordian with its sunny, strummy guitars and folksy refrain. It's basically the song that's acceptable for non-Directioners to openly enjoy, or the song that could turn the staunchest of skeptics into card-carrying Directioners.
So Midnight Memories is one album that parents and their children can agree upon. Perhaps that's why most of the adults at the iHeartRadio Theater passed on the option to sit in an upstairs "parents' area" and just stood on the floor with their excitable kids instead. If One Direction deliberately crafted a parent-friendly album here, then they're marketing geniuses…but maybe they're just growing up and hoping to take their rapidly maturing teenage fans along with them.
2. Zayn Malik's wedding will be awesome.
Speaking of growing up, Zayn broke millions of Directioners' hearts earlier this year when he announced his plan make an honest woman out of fellow "X Factor U.K." star Perrie Edwards (of the girl group Little Mix). But if home video of Zayn and Perrie's fantasy wedding ever gets released on DVD, that should cheer fans right up. Because it will be the Best. Wedding. Ever.
When asked by iHeartRadio host Ryan Seacrest if he'd picked a best man yet, Zayn answered, "Nah, I've decided it is going to be unconventional. I'm going to have five or six best men." So that presumably means all four of Zayn's bandmates will be dressed up in tuxes. Yay.
Even better: When asked what musical act he'd like to have perform at their wedding, Zayn said, "I know my missus wants the lead singer from Journey [Steve Perry]. We'll see what we can do about that." He also joked that their mentor, Simon Cowell, might even sing a song. Double yay!
Now please excuse us while we figure out how to crash the Malik/Edwards reception…
3. Harry Styles does NOT have a type.
As for the single 1D guys, only two of them took Seacrest's bait when grilled about which females they'd like to date. Niall Horan named Britain's own Kate Beckinsale ("Bloody hell, she's really hot!"), but Harry picked a much more daring choice: the very un-Taylor-Swift-like Rihanna, aka the "BadGirlRiRi" of Instagram infamy.
4. Harry worships all sorts of celebrities.
Onstage at iHeart, Harry revealed his (totally understandable) man-crush on Johnny Depp, even fessing up to stealing soap from the actor's bathroom when he visited the Depp home in Los Angeles this year. "My friend told me I had to take something. It was just a tiny bit of soap!" Hey, it was just a bit of good clean fun.
5. The 1D guys' actual midnight memories may not be all that memorable.
Harry may make news for courting Jenners, Stewarts, and Swifts (or for wanting to court Rihanna), but real-life dates with him might be kind of boring, since during his downtime he's just a regular bloke. Answering a fan's question regarding his favorite off-duty activities, the supposed playboy said he loves to "sleep and watch movies all the time." The equally drowsy Niall answered, "Sleep a lot. When I'm not sleeping, I like to play golf. I love golf." The easy-to-please Liam Payne said he likes to "eat a lot of food" and "watch the Weather Channel all the time," and Louis Tomlinson and Zayn said they chill out with video games.
So apparently these lads haven't grown up too much.