The “Strip That Down” singer, 26, revealed in an interview with SiriusXM Hits 1’s “The Morning Mash Up” on Tuesday, September 17, that he hasn’t spoken to the “Sign of the Times” artist, 25, “in a while.”
When asked when he thinks a One Direction reunion will happen, Payne said it’s hard to predict because of his lack of communication with Styles.
“I say different times all the time,” Payne said. “It’s difficult. I haven’t spoken to Harry in a while, so I don’t know where his head is at with [a reunion.] I heard he mentioned it in some sort of magazine thing or whatever the other day, which is cool.”
In his Rolling Stone cover story in August, Styles told the magazine that he’s down for a 1D reunion but is prioritizing his solo career at the moment.
“I don’t know. I don’t think I’d ever say I’d never do it again, because I don’t feel that way,” he said. “If there’s a time when we all really want to do it, that’s the only time for us to do it, because I don’t think it should be about anything else other than the fact that we’re all like, ‘Hey, this was really fun. We should do this again.’ But until that time, I feel like I’m really enjoying making music and experimenting. I enjoy making music this way too much to see myself doing a full switch, to go back and do that again. Because I also think if we went back to doing things the same way, it wouldn’t be the same, anyway.”
As for Tomlinson, 27, and Horan, 26, Payne is more sure about where they stand when it comes to the boy band getting back together.
“I think everybody else has been really outspoken,” Payne told SiriusXM on Tuesday. “I think they’re ready to go whenever. I think Niall was ready the day we decided to stop. He was like, ‘I’m sure we’re coming back in tomorrow, boys!” He was just ready to go.”
The “Stack It Up” singer didn’t mention Zayn Malik, who quit One Direction five months before the band announced its hiatus in 2015, in his answers to the reunion questions, but he did reference the “Pillowtalk” singer and Styles when he was asked earlier in the interview about which 1D members were most likely to have a baby last.
Payne is the father of 2-year-old son Bear with ex-girlfriend Cheryl Cole, while Tomlinson is the dad of 3-year-old son Freddie with stylist Briana Jungwirth.
In August 2015, Horan, Payne and Tomlinson announced that One Direction would be taking an indefinite break. Though the members denied that the hiatus was permanent, a source told Us Weekly in January 2016 that the band was done for good. The group, which was created on season 7 of The X Factor U.K. in 2010, released five albums.
As for other revelations in his SiriusXM interview, Payne told the radio station that he and Justin Bieber had a heart to heart at a previous MTV Video Music Awards to sort out the “Purpose” singer’s beef with One Direction at the time.
“There was a point between One Direction and Justin, [where] there was a bit of a feud thing going on,” Payne said. “I was like, ‘Right. I’m going to try and squash this at the VMAs or wherever we were.’ We sat down and had a really long chat. I told him some things that nobody knows about me. We sat and had a really open chat about it.”
The “For You” singer said that the two bonded over their shared struggle in the spotlight as young artists.
“I knew he had always been struggling, but you have to imagine, I had four other people going through the same thing. It would bring me back down to earth every time I went a little bit too far,” Payne said. “He was doing it by himself. Nobody knows what Justin Bieber thought. It’s Justin Bieber.”
The “Bedroom Floor” artist’s comments come after he supported Bieber following the “Baby” singer’s candid Instagram post earlier this month, where the Canada native opened up about his battle with depression and how that led to him acting out. Though Payne made it clear that he doesn’t condone Bieber’s behavior, he still sympathizes with the “Love Yourself” hitmaker.
“He’s done a load of things wrong. I don’t agree with any of the things he’s done,” Payne said. “He was stupid at points. Of course, he was. But at the same time, it’s about where you’re going. It’s not about where you’ve been. Forgiveness is something we all have in us.”