From the outside, being a member of the most famous band in the world looks all rosy. However, looks can be incredibly deceiving and that is what happened to Liam Payne in One Direction. In a recent interview, the former One Direction band member revealed that during his time with the band, he struggled with addictions as well as mental health. And it was a long journey back for him.
On The Diary of a CEO podcast, Payne revealed that he didn’t like himself a lot during the early days of the band. Those days, according to him, were filled with “pills and booze” and “moments of suicidal ideation”. Payne, along with the band, shot to fame at the age of 16, alongside Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Louis Tomlinson, and Zayn Malik in 2010 at The X Factor. Then, they were competing as solo artists. But after failing at that, they joined together to form one of the most successful boy bands of all time. Payne revealed:
There is some stuff that I’ve definitely never spoken about. It was really, really, really severe. It was a problem.
Later on, when the band ended in 2015, Payne was instead relieved, saying:
The day the band ended, I was like, ‘Thank the Lord.’ I know a lot of people are going to be mad at me for saying that, but I needed to stop or it would kill me.
How Liam Payne struggled with alcoholism during early band years
During his time with One Direction, Liam Payne battled with alcoholism as the band was touring at its peak. He continued:
In the band… the best way to secure us, because of how big we’d got, was just to lock us in our rooms. What’s in the room? A mini-bar. So at a certain point I thought, I’m just going to have a party-for-one and that seemed to carry on for many years of my life. Then you look back at how long you’ve been drinking and you’re like, ‘Jesus Christ, that’s a long time.’ It was wild but it was the only way you could get the frustration out.
Liam Payne further revealed that from the outside, people thought the band could do anything. But, in reality, he felt “trapped” in “lonely hotel rooms” as part of One Direction. Payne recalled:
We were always locked in a hotel room at night. Then it would be car, hotel room, stage, sing, locked. So it looked like they pulled the dust cloth off and let us out for a minute and then back underneath it. There were points where it was toxic and difficult. Don’t get me wrong, we had the best time ever, but… you don’t realize you have a choice at that point.
Now, however, Liam Payne has been “sober for just over a month”. He said that One Direction’s immense success came with a lot of “sacrifice”. And that fame “deluded” his growth, as the singer said:
You leave fame the age you entered it. I was a director of a half-a-billion pound industry at 22… But if I am trying to pay car insurance, I am useless. You don’t grow in other aspects of your life because you have people do crap for you. Picking up my post? I am the worst person in the world. I still feel like a child in so many ways. There is no link between money and happiness. It is a myth. Money is the ability to relax on certain things.
His life after One Direction’s breakup
As far as life after One Direction is concerned, Liam Payne explained that his relationship with band members is “great with most of them,” especially Styles, calling him a “lovely, lovely boy,” adding, “I love him to pieces”. He revealed:
I had a lovely phone call from Harry the other day. He was checking in on me. It’s almost as if some people have got a sixth sense about when you’re going through something and want to check in.
Payne has a 4-year-old son Bear with British pop star Cheryl Cole. Moreover, he revealed in the podcast that he indeed is single and has ended his engagement with model Maya Henry after 10 months. Payne continued:
I am indeed (single). I feel like more than anything at this point, I’m more disappointed in myself that I keep on hurting people. That annoys me. I’ve just not been very good at relationships. I’m just not very good at them so I just need to work on myself before I put myself on to somebody else.