With a top 10 album and plans in place for a major world tour, Louis Tomlinson is successfully chugging away as a solo artist. But his origins in One Direction, including the boy band’s painful split in 2015, will always be a big part of his career.
And in a new interview with The Times, the 31-year-old singer-songwriter opened up about how he really felt at the time of 1D’s disbandment. “I was mortified, I was absolutely gutted,” he told the publication in a Thursday (Feb. 23) piece. “I was a bit bitter, I suppose because it just felt like another loss to me.”
“But I’ve a better understanding of things now, and there’s not as much anger,” added Tomlinson, who lost his mother and sister in the span of a couple years after the band’s breakup. “It is what it is.”
Still, the “Bigger Than Me” artist feels positively about the possibility of getting the boys — Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Zayn Malik and Liam Payne — back together for a One Direction reunion, long hope for by fans. It just probably won’t happen anytime soon, he says.
“Getting back together at some point is hard to imagine right now,” Tomlinson told The Times. “But I’d be surprised if we lived out our lives and didn’t have a moment where we had a reunion, or whatever you want to call it. I’d be up for that.”
“I do miss the boys and I do definitely miss being one of the five, but I like doing my own thing too,” he continued. “It was time.”
Then, speaking about Styles’ major post-1D successes (with objectively the biggest solo career of the five former bandmates), Tomlinson said he wasn’t surprised things turned out as well as they did for the “As It Was” pop star. “We were always aware that Harry fit that mold, and it’s been an amazing thing to watch,” he said.
“Envy? At the start maybe, when I was trying to find my feet, but it’s never healthy to cross-reference your own success with others, is it?” he added.
It’s not the first time he’s spoken about initially harboring some jealousy. In a November interview ahead of the release of his No. 5 album Faith In the Future, Tomlinson confessed Styles’ commercial success bothered him at first: “Only ‘cos I didn’t know where to place myself, and really my only point of reference was other members of the band.”
“I look on Harry like a brother, man,” he added at the time. “I have a lot of pride for what he’s doing.”
Meanwhile, Horan — whose album The Show arrives this summer — also recently opened up about how his solo career contrasts with his One Direction days, particularly when it comes to musicianship. “When the band was finished, I just kind of picked up the guitar, and do what I think I naturally do best, which is acoustic guitar, or simple piano, and just started doing that kind of thing,” he told Zane Lowe on Apple Music 1 Friday (Feb. 24).