Liam Payne: I’m like the antichrist version of Harry Styles”

Volume 4 Issue 002: Sitting down with the 26-year-old former One Directioner as he releases his debut solo album, LP1.

Arti­cle taken from The Face Volume 4 Issue 002. Order your copy here.

Hello Liam! By the time people read this your new record will be out. What do you think people are saying about it? 

I don’t think people are going to expect what they hear. The route we’ve kind of gone down is not as samey as the singles. It’s more R&B driven, there are some good slow jam bits in there, some of it’s very raunchy, which was unexpected!

Your recent single, Stack It Up, is about making loads of money. Are you so filthy rich that you never have to work another day in your life?

I don’t believe that! I get scared… The thing is, we had our heads filled with horror stories about boy bands and girl bands, in an era when people were ripping people off left right and centre. So I’m ultra conscious about what I can do next.

Do you believe in God?

Do I believe in God? What a fucking question! I like the idea of God, but I can’t say that I can commit fully to believing in it. Cheryl [Tweedy – the British singer Payne was in a relationship with until 2018] always has me watching these near-death experience things. She loves them. Cheryl’s extremely spiritual, so she always watches these programmes about stuff. 

What is the meaning of life?

To be honest with you, I think we’re all trying to fucking figure that out. I ain’t got a clue. Everyday I’m getting up going: Are we just pottering about the place here? Getting on with little bits just to pass a bit of time?”

Do you ever worry about going down the pan?

What, like fucking it up?

Just career wise. 

Yeah, every day. I wake up every morning going: Is today the day? Is the devil right behind me or has he fucked off for a little bit?”

What is the most preposterous story you’ve read about yourself?

I’ve been dead a few times, that’s quite weird. Only Twitter dead. My mum called me to check. What was she expecting? If I am dead, I’m not going to pick up! 

What did your mum say about your HUGO pictures [Liam posed in his undies as part of his role as Global Ambassador for the brand]?

My mum wasn’t happy about it. She’s very old-fashioned, my mum. So, there’s me starkers on a thing that’s going to go on a bus and whatever else and she couldn’t get her head around it. She hit me round the head. True story. At a Rita Ora concert. 

Thinking about your singles: Strip That Down, Get Low, Bedroom Floor. Why do you think you have your mind so resolutely in the gutter?

I’ve been asking myself that for a long time. I’ve become some sort of weird Magic Mike character at the moment, haven’t I? An English Magic Mike. When we were getting the songs through, I don’t know if it was some sort of bravado or something I was putting across, but every single song we’d get sent would be sexual. And I was Mr. Vanilla in the band! Mr. Boring, I think I got called. They used to compare me to Gary Barlow. I was like: Well I like Gary Barlow so I’m alright with that.”

Which former One Direction member would you rather go for a walk down the Old Kent Road with? 

To be honest with you, more than anyone, probably Harry. I speak to Louis quite regularly. I feel like I know where I stand with Niall. But with Harry, there’s so much mystery around who he’s kind of become. I was actually genuinely looking at some pictures of him the other day, and I just thought, I don’t know what more I’d say to him other than, Hello’ and How are you?’.” I mean, look at the stuff I put out, and the stuff Harry puts out. Polar opposite. I’m like the antichrist version of what Harry is. 

What do you think of his big trousers?

Do you know what? For me, it’s a case of fair play to him for doing what he fucking wants. If he wants to wear one earring and go to the Met Gala wearing something unexpected, what of it? Fair fucking play. I couldn’t put myself in that. I’d look fucking… It’d look weird. 

Liam’s debut album LP1 is out now on Capitol Records.


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