"We just happen to be releasing our albums on the same day," said Horan. "It's happened to us before; our first couple of albums were released on the same day as Rihanna. I think the press have just made a bit of a deal out of it because it's us and Justin Bieber. It's fine. You know you're gonna be up against someone in the charts -- it just happens that we have fallen on the same day."
Styles continued, saying, "I don't think anyone makes a record with competing with someone else in mind. I think then you don't make it for the right reasons.... I think we made the record -- we're very, very happy with it, we're very proud of it -- and now we're putting it out, and it happens to be on the same day as someone else, and that's it. It's not a win/lose thing -- it's, we hope that our fans like it, and if it does well that would be amazing, but that's not ultimately what it's about."
Justin Bieber Thinks One Direction Chose the Same Release Date as Him for Extra Promo
The two singers also addressed Zayn Malik's departure from the band in March, saying not much has changed.
"I think it was obviously different, the process, because there was one less of us," Styles said. "But at the same time it didn't change, in terms of the writing of the album, it didn't change that much. I think the focus over the last five years has always been the same in that we want to make the best record that we can. I think that didn't change in any way.... Obviously the album sounds a little bit different because you're missing a voice that was there before, but we've very much grown stronger, probably through the realization that we all have the same goal for a lot of things. And I think it was nice to have the album as kind of a common ground, where we were all kind of thought we all want to make this the best record that we've made."
Watch the interview here: