Liam Payne felt his time with One Direction was 'toxic', says he turned to alcohol to put on a 'happy front'
Liam Payne is now saying his tenure with One Direction was "a little bit toxic."
The 25-year-old vocalist admitted that during the pinnacle of the boyband's global fame, he struggled to cope and turned to alcohol to put on a happy front, Daily Mail reports.
Speaking to Men's Health Australia, Liam said he believes more mental healthcare is needed for performers as he still struggles with feeling in control of his life.
"When you're doing hundreds and hundreds of [concerts] and it's the same 22 songs at the same time every single day, even if you're not happy, you've got to go out there," he said. "It's almost like putting the Disney costume on before you step up on stage and underneath the Disney costume I was p***ed quite a lot of the time because there was no other way to get your head around what was going on, I mean it was fun. We had an absolute blast but there were certain parts of it where it just got a little bit toxic, it's difficult when you have the level of fame that we had in the band."
The singer-songwriter added that he was "lucky to be out of that scenario and back into a sense of normality, then you know it's a bit different."
Liam said he never felt in control during his time with the band, saying his struggle has continued because he still doesn't like to disappoint people in his life.
In 2016, One Direction went on an indefinite hiatus so that group members including Niall Horan, Harry Styles, and Louis Tomlinson and Payne could focus on their solo careers. This was after founding member Zayn Malik left the group in 2015.
The X Factor star then went on to become a successful solo artist while somehow managing to raise his two-year-old son Bear with his ex-girlfriend Cheryl.
Liam has previously stated his anxiety reached unbearable levels at times, so much that he struggled to leave his house.
"I'd be going in to order a coffee at Starbucks and I would sweat because I wouldn't know whether I was doing the right thing or not," he told Esquire Middle East. "I would be thinking, 'f***, I don't want to be here'. I even used to have a really bad problem with going to petrol stations and paying for petrol. I can feel it now - it was like this horrible anxiety where I'd be sweating buckets in the car thinking, 'I don't want to do this'."