Liam Payne was in New York City yesterday to promote his upcoming Z100 Jingle Ball appearances at the end of the year but that doesn’t mean he didn’t take the time to chat about One Direction. Ironically, the boy band’s last performance in the United States was at the 2015 Jingle Ball in Los Angles. He said of that time, “It was a bittersweet feeling, because we knew we were getting a little bit of a break. Obviously, we knew it was the end and the confusion of not knowing when it’s gonna come back, what’s gonna happen next.”

The “Strip That Down” singer continued, “So there was a lot of mixed feelings around that thing. But I think it’s all happened for the best. Everybody’s really enjoyed their success at the moment. I’m super proud of them all for doing their own thing and doing it in their own way.” Of course, fans knew the boys were about to go on hiatus at the time, but no one knew exactly what they were going through. Almost two years later, Liam isn’t afraid to talk about it and basically say that it was scary. They hadn’t ever known fame without each other so taking this next step was huge.

As for Liam’s solo performances at this year’s Jingle Ball tour, he said it’s going to be kind of weird and we’re slowly melting with nostalgia. He explained, “It’s gonna be a bit strange, right? I really enjoy performing and I’m hoping everybody’s enjoying my songs. I really can’t wait — it’s a great end to the year.” It’s going to be a good kind of strange, Liam!

But, just because he’s amped to play for all the fans at Jingle Ball, doesn’t mean Directioners should expect a real solo tour when his album drops like his former bandmates, Niall Horan and Harry Styles, are doing. Payno said, “I don’t know if I’m ready for a solo tour yet. I want to take my time with it and that’s sort of what we’re doing along the way with [Jingle Ball]. I think it’s better to take your time with things and really see where you are in the world.”

As for what’s going to happen to Bear Payne’s whereabouts during Liam’s Jingle Ball stint, he said Cheryl Cole has got it under control. “He’s going to stay with his mom until we really figure out what we’re doing. It’s going to be difficult. It’s hard being away, but time differences with babies and stuff — it’s really hard on them. I don’t want to drag him around the world for, you know, just for my sanity. We’ll do it when the time’s right.” Sounds like he’s got a handle on the whole dad thing.

I mean, can you imagine having a newborn backstage at Jingle Ball? No. Never. And Liam can’t either. It’s pretty amazing how his whole mentality has changed and not everything is about him anymore. Bear takes precedence, like he should.

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