Louis Tomlinson had the biggest day of his solo career so far on Friday (Jan. 31) when his debut album, Walls, arrived. But even four years and an album into his solo venture, the One Direction alum can’t help but indulge in some of the boy band’s music.
“I’m not going to lie, I probably have two or three moments a year, and it’ll just happen — normally after being drunk. We’ll get back to the house and have bit of a One Direction marathon,” Tomlinson told Billboard the morning of his album release. “I have to be a bit drunk, because otherwise I think it’s a bit naff. But if I’ve had a few drinks, I love reminiscing on the songs, thinking about when they were written and stuff like that.”
One song in particular gets Tomlinson really pumped: “Clouds,” an anthemic deep cut from the group’s 2014 LP Four. “We opened the tour with it and — I’ve got goosebumps now — every time I hear that song, it takes me back to that stadium tour,” he added with a smile.
Tomlinson will set out on his own headlining tour this year, kicking off in his native UK on Sunday and hitting Australia, Asia and South America before starting the U.S. leg in Minneapolis on June 9. While he hasn’t nailed down the setlist for the full trek yet, he hinted that 1D fans may hear a Louis-only version of Four hit “Steal My Girl.” One thing they shouldn’t expect, though? Dancing. “No f—ing chance,” he laughed.
Walls showcases Tomlinson’s smooth tone and knack for compelling lyricism (he co-wrote the most One Direction songs of anyone in the band), and though he suggested the sound is “drastically different” than what he thought he’d create on his own, he does think that the melodies in tracks like “Perfect Now” and “Don’t Let It Break Your Heart” are reminiscent of the pop hooks the boy band perfected. In Tomlinson’s eyes, “It was important to have those moments on the album.”
Tomlinson also chatted with Billboard about his writing process for Walls and why he took his time with the album after 1D began their break in early 2016. You can hear some of the interview in this week’s First Stream Live Podcast here.