"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," the singer recalls.
In an interview with Men's Health Australia for their July cover story, the "Strip That Down" singer recalled some dark days as a member of the boy band, which he said were filled with alcohol abuse.
"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," Payne said.
"It's almost like putting the Disney costume on before you step up on stage and underneath the Disney costume I was pissed quite a lot of the time because there was no other way to get your head around what was going on," he continued. "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."
When asked if he ever felt in control during those times, Payne said, "No. Never."
"I still struggle with it now," he added. "I really struggle to say no because I don't like to let people down. It's in my nature."
After One Direction split in 2016, the 25-year-old singer has gone on to work on his solo career and is currently working on his debut solo album. Although it's been years, Payne remembers the boy band's claim to fame.
Payne, who was only 14 at the time he auditioned for "The X Factor," recalled, "It literally was the perfect storm. There were so many scenarios that had to fall into line for that to happen. It's not something that can easily be recreated or probably ever will be because of the way the Internet was kicking off, the way 'The X Factor' kicked off. I just think it was just dumb luck."
The 25-year-old pop star also spoke about how being in the band impacted his mental health.
"It's difficult when you have the level of fame that we had in the band," Payne said. "There have been a lot of people in trouble with mental health that aren't really getting the help that they need, and I think that's a bit of a problem in our industry."
"It's the same shit that happens to everyone, that's been happening since the '70s," he added. "You know what the traps are and if you are lucky enough, like me, to be able to get out of that scenario and back into a sense of normality, then you know it's a bit different."
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