“At first we were a little bit angry, obviously, we were surprised,” Liam Payne told Corden. “But I think we all kind of knew the general vibe that Zayn was feeling. From the outside, people could tell.”
Malik announced that he was leaving One Direction in March, five years after the boy band formed on the U.K. version of The X Factor. “I am leaving because I want to be a normal 22-year-old who is able to relax and have some private time out of the spotlight,” he said in a statement on the band’s Facebook page.
“It’s just like, there’s certain parts of this job that Zayn loved and certain parts that he didn’t,” Payne explained on The Late Late Show. “If you don’t like your job, then sometimes you’ve got to follow your heart and go where you need to go. There’s no arguing with that…. But we wish him the best with whatever he gets up to. There’s no hard feelings. We’re just going to carry on as usual.”
In response to the question of whether they’ve been in touch with their former bandmate, Louis Tomlinson elicited a few titters from the audience. “Yeah, there’s been a bit of back and forth,” he said, apparently referring to his recent round of twitter jousting with Malik.
“I’ve never been very good at biting me tongue,” he said. “I probably get it off me mum. It’s just one of those things. Twitter’s great for connecting with the fans. But also if you feel like saying something that you probably shouldn’t, it’s also good for that as well. Or bad, in this case.” But, he says, “It’s all resolved, all good in the hood.”
Asked if the band has thought about calling it quits, Niall Horan assured fans that the remaining members are still firmly committed. “The four of us love every part of it,” he said. “The shows have been great, the tour, the fans deserve it, they’ve been absolutely fantastic to us.” He also said that they’ve been spending time in the studio recently and are looking forward to putting out their next album.
It’s also worth noting that Harry Styles flatly denied that the band ever thought about bringing in a new member to replace Malik.
The singers went on to demonstrate their group cohesion in a dodgeball game against an all-women’s team called the Ball Busters. “The singing thing just kind of happened,” Horan explained. “I wasn’t really planning a career in singing. It was all about dodgeball for me as a kid.” See how they fared.