"There’s no secret relationships going on with any of the band members. It’s not funny, and it still continues to be quite hard for them. They won’t naturally go put their arm around each other because they’re conscious of this thing that’s going on, which is not even true. They won’t do that natural behavior. But it’s just the way the fans are. They’re so passionate, and once they get their head around an idea, that’s the way it is regardless of anything. If it wasn’t for that passionate, like, almost obsession, then we wouldn’t have the success that we had.”
Note: all quotes from The Fader's fantastic cover story. Click here to read in full.
“I’m actually quite easy, a happy-go-lucky sort of guy but there was a lot of situations that were almost created to make me be portrayed as the mysterious or quiet one. I guess that’s just something that people buy into, and it helps them sell things. It’s a product that’s already designed, and it sells.”
"There was never any room for me to experiment creatively in the band. 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 fuck, 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.”
“I guess I just wanted to go home from the beginning. I was always thinking it. I just didn’t know when I was going to do it. Then by the time I decided to go, it just felt right on that day. I woke up on that morning, if I’m being completely honest with you, and was like, ‘I need to go home. I just need to be me now, because I’ve had enough.’ I was with my little cousin at the time—we were sat in the hotel room—and I was just, ‘Should I go home?’ And he was like, ‘If you want to go home, let’s go home.’ So we left.”
“If you could word it exactly this way, I’d be very appreciative. I have more respect for Perrie than to end anything over text message. I love her a lot, and I always will, and I would never end our relationship over four years like that. She knows that, I know that, and the public should know that as well. I don’t want to explain why or what I did, I just want the public to know I didn’t do that.”
“There’s so many people in L.A. that have a story to tell, but they never got to tell the story. Every line in the pre [-chorus] of that song ["I Got Mine"] is a different person’s perspective. So, it’s like, 'Talk is cheap but we still talk it/ Road is far but we still walk it/ Writing chalks or change the story.' At that point, that could be like a teacher writing on the chalkboard, writing a story, but they can change it. 'Keep it moving when it’s boring.' The dustbin man, putting the garbage out, whatever. 'Thoughts come out just like they’re pouring.' An alcoholic guy who’s, like, a super creative dude. It was all different perspectives.”
“A big part of why I left the band is I made the realization that it wasn’t actually about [being the biggest] anymore. It wasn’t about the amount of ticket sales that I get. It was more about the people that I reach. I want to reach them in the right way, and I want them to believe what I’m saying. I’ve done enough in terms of financial backing for me to live comfortably. I just want to make music now. If people want to listen to that, then I’m happy. If they don’t want to listen to it, then don’t fucking listen to it. I’m cool with that too. I’ve got enough. I don’t need you to buy it on a mass scale for me to feel satisfied.”