Liam Payne says One Direction will ‘work together again’ after break in 2016

Boy band singer also discusses recent accusations of homophobia with UK gay magazine Attitude

One Direction singer Liam Payne has discussed the band’s future following recent news that the group will take a break next year.

The boy band’s decision to go separate ways after their current tour came just months after former member Zayn Malik departed the group.

Now, speaking to UK magazine Attitude, Payne has ruled out that the hiatus is shorthand for the band splitting altogether.

“I realise now this is the time to start branching out and exploring,” Payne said. “This won’t last forever, and there will be a point when we will break off and do our own things, but… we will work together again.”

He added, “A lot of people say to me, ‘Oh, you’ll go solo,’ but I haven’t thought about that. If the right song comes along and I think I should sing it, then I will release it as a solo artist. Otherwise, I’m happy being behind the scenes. When the others boys [in the group] go solo, I would love to write songs for them. I want to make great music that people want to listen to.”

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Payne also discussed accusations of homophobia following recent comments he made on tour. Introducing the track ‘Girl Almighty’ at a recent gig, the singer said: “This is my favourite song off the last album, and it is about trying to find that number one woman of your life, which none of you can relate to, ’cause most of you are girls. Except for the boys in here, you know what I’m talking about.”

Responding to criticism over the remarks, Payne said, “A lot of my friends are gay and I don’t think anything about it. I actually find it funny that being gay is still something that’s talked about as though it’s not natural. I mean, I don’t go around saying, ‘Oh, this guy is gay.’ I don’t make a big deal about it. I will just say, ‘This is my mate.’ My mates are my mates, regardless of their sexuality.”

“There were loads of rainbow flags flying at our shows, but I think that was mainly because people think of the Louis and Harry thing [fan rumours that they’re secret lovers], which is absolutely nuts and drives me insane.”

Last month saw the surprise release of One Direction’s new single, ‘Drag Me Down‘. Their fifth album is due out this Christmas but the group have reportedly decided not to tour in promotion of the record.

One Direction have sold more than 50 million records worldwide and boast more than 91 Number Ones across the globe.