Liam Payne: ‘Toxic’ One Direction fame drove me to drink

Liam Payne candidly spoke about the downside of being a celebrity in a new interview, admitting that he abused alcohol at the height of One Direction’s global fame.

“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,” the “Strip That Down” singer, 25, said in his July 2019 cover story for Men’s Health Australia.

“It’s almost like putting the Disney costume on before you step up on stage and underneath the Disney costume I was pissed [drunk] 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.”

20 PHOTOS
The evolution of One Direction
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The evolution of One Direction
TODAY -- Pictured: One Direction (l-r) Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Louis Tomlinson, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne appears on NBC News' 'Today' show -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 04: Niall Horan, Liam Payne, Zayne Malik, Louis Tomlinson and Harry Styles of One Direction attend day two of Jingle Bell Ball at O2 Arena on December 4, 2011 in London, England. (Photo by Tim Whitby/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 21: Zayn Malik, Louis Tomlinson, Harry Styles, Liam Payne and Niall Horan of One Direction appear in store to meet fans and sign copies of their debut album, 'Up All Night' at HMV Bayswater on November 21, 2011 in London, England. (Photo by Danny Martindale/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 07: L-R) Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Louis Tomlinson, Liam Payne and Harry Styles of One Direction attends Z100's Jingle Ball 2012, presented by Aeropostale, at Madison Square Garden on December 7, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Jim Spellman/Getty Images for Jingle Ball 2012)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 07: (L-R) Liam Payne, Zayn Malik, Harry Styles, Niall Horan and Louis Tomlinson of One Direction perform onstage during Z100's Jingle Ball 2012, presented by Aeropostale, at Madison Square Garden on December 7, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Jingle Ball 2012)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 07: (L-R) Liam Payne, Zayn Malik, Harry Styles, Niall Horan and Louis Tomlinson of One Direction perform onstage during Z100's Jingle Ball 2012, presented by Aeropostale, at Madison Square Garden on December 7, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Jingle Ball 2012)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 07: (L-R) Niall Horan, Harry Styles, Louis Tomlinson, Zayn Malik and Liam Payne of One Direction visit SiriusXM's 'Artist Confidential' Series at SiriusXM Studios on December 7, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Myrna Suarez/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 07: (L-R) Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Zayn Malik and Louis Tomlinson of One Direction perform at SiriusXM's 'Artist Confidential' Series at SiriusXM Studios on December 7, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Myrna Suarez/Getty Images)
DUESSELDORF, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 22: Harry Styles, Zayn Malik, Louis Thompson, Liam Payne and Niall Horan attend the 'BAMBI Awards 2012' at the Stadthalle Duesseldorf on November 22, 2012 in Duesseldorf, Germany. (Photo by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images)
CANNES, FRANCE - DECEMBER 14: (L-R) Harry Styles and Zayn Malik of One Direction attend the 15th NRJ Music Awards at Palais des Festivals on December 14, 2013 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Marc Piasecki/FilmMagic)
(L-R) Harry Styles, Liam Payne, Zayn Malik, Louis Tomlinson and Niall Horan of One Direction attend the '40 Principales' awards 2013 photocall at the Barclaycard Center (Palacio de los Deportes) on December 12, 2014 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Oscar Gonzalez/NurPhoto) (Photo by NurPhoto/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
CANNES, FRANCE - DECEMBER 14: Louis Tomlinson , Niall Horan, Liam Payne, Zayn Malik and Harry Styles and of One Direction arrive at the 15th NRJ Music Awards at the Palais des Festivals on December 14, 2013 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Tony Barson/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 26: Harry Styles and Zayn Malik of One Direction perform at Rumsey Playfield on November 26, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- Episode 1649 -- Pictured: (l-r) Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, Harry Styles, Louis Tomlinson, Niall Horan of One Direction -- (Photo by: Dana Edelson/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- 'Amy Adams' Episode 1672 -- Pictured: (l-r) Amy Adams and One Direction members Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, Harry Styles, Louis Tomlinson and Niall Horan on December 18, 2014 -- (Photo by: Dana Edelson/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
CANNES, FRANCE - DECEMBER 13: (L-R) Liam Payne, Niall Horan, Harry Styles and Zayn Malik of 'One Direction' arrive at the 16th NRJ Music Awards at Palais des Festivals on December 13, 2014 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Francois G. Durand/Getty Images)
MADRID, SPAIN - DECEMBER 12: (L-R) Niall Horan, Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson, Harry Styles and Zayn Malik of One Direction receive an 40 Pricipales Award during attend the '40 Principales' awards 2014 ceremony on December 12, 2014 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Europa Press/Europa Press via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 31: (L-R) Singers Liam Payne, Niall Horan, Louis Tomlinson and Harry Styles of One Direction attend Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve with Ryan Seacrest 2016 on December 31, 2015 in Los Angeles, CA. (Photo by Mark Davis/DCNYRE2016/Getty Images for dcp)
LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 04: Harry Styles of One Direction performs during the KIIS FMÂs Jingle Ball 2015 presented by Capital One on December 4, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by JB Lacroix/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 31: (L-R) Singers Liam Payne, Niall Horan, Louis Tomlinson and Harry Styles of One Direction attend Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve with Ryan Seacrest 2016 on December 31, 2015 in Los Angeles, CA. (Photo by Mark Davis/DCNYRE2016/Getty Images for dcp)
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Fortunately, Payne’s life has become less hectic since the U.K. boy band’s 2016 breakup as he focuses on releasing his debut solo album.

“It’s difficult when you have the level of fame that we had in the band,” he told the magazine. “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 s–t that happens to everyone, that’s been happening since the ‘70s. 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.”

That said, Payne said the madness of his 1D days is still in the back of his mind. “I really struggle to say no because I don’t like to let people down,” he said. “It’s my nature.”

In addition to recording new music, the X Factor U.K. alum stays busy with his 2-year-old son, Bear, whom he shares with ex-girlfriend Cheryl Cole.

“As a dad, I think one of the hardest parts at the start of it all is to feel as involved as possible,” he told Us Weekly exclusively on May 21, gushing that he is “really lucky” to have a well-behaved son.

27 PHOTOS
Liam Payne out and about
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Liam Payne out and about
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 29: Liam Payne and Cheryl attending The Fayre of St James's Church on November 29, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Mark Robert Milan/GC Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 29: Liam Payne attends the Fayre of St James's hosted by Quintessentially Foundation and the Crown Estate in aid of Cheryl's Trust in support of The Prince's Trust on November 29, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 28: Liam Payne attends the World Premiere of 'I Am Bolt' at Odeon Leicester Square on November 28, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage)
PARIS, FRANCE - MAY 09: (L-R) Cheryl Fernandez-Versini and Liam Payne attend the Global Gift Gala Photocall at the Hotel Georges V on May 09, 2016 in Paris, France. (Photo by Kristy Sparow/Getty Images)
CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 12: Cheryl Cole (L) and her boyfriend Liam Payne, member of 'one direction' arrive at the Chopard Trophy Ceremony at the annual 69th Cannes Film Festival at Hotel Martinez on May 12, 2016 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Gisela Schober/Getty Images for Chopard)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 09: Cheryl Fernandez-Versini and Liam Payne at Salmontini restarant on March 9, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Mark Milan/GC Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 24: Louis Tomlinson and Liam Payne of One Direction attend the BRIT Awards 2016 at The O2 Arena on February 24, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage)
LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 24: Adele with her Best British Female Solo Artist award on stage with award presenters Liam Payne and Louis Tomlinson at the BRIT Awards 2016 at The O2 Arena on February 24, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 15: Liam Payne is seen at LAX on January 15, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by GVK/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 31: (L-R) Singers Liam Payne, Niall Horan, Louis Tomlinson and Harry Styles of One Direction attend Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve with Ryan Seacrest 2016 on December 31, 2015 in Los Angeles, CA. (Photo by Mark Davis/DCNYRE2016/Getty Images for dcp)
BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 10: Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson, Harry Styles and Niall Horan of One Direction attend the BBC Music Awards at Genting Arena on December 10, 2015 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 04: Recording artists Niall Horan, Harry Styles, Louis Tomlinson and Liam Payne of One Direction arrives at the 102.7 KIIS FM's Jingle Ball at Staples Center on December 4, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 04: Recording artists Niall Horan, Liam Payne and Harry Styles of One Direction perform at 102.7 KIIS FM's Jingle Ball 2015 presented by Capital One at Staples Center on December 4, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 04: Recording artist Liam Payne of music group One Direction performs onstage during 102.7 KIIS FM�s Jingle Ball 2015 Presented by Capital One at STAPLES CENTER on December 4, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images for iHeartMedia)
DALLAS, TX - DECEMBER 01: (L - R) Niall Horan, Harry Styles, Liam Payne and Louis Tomlinson of One Direction attend the iHeart Radio 106.1 KISS FM Jingle Ball at the American Airlines Center on December 1, 2015 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Gary Miller/Getty Images)
DALLAS, TX - DECEMBER 01: Liam Payne of One Direction performs during 106.1 KISS FM's Jingle Ball at American Airlines Center on December 1, 2015 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Taylor Hill/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 22: (L-R) Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson, Niall Horan and Harry Styles of One Direction pose in the press room at the 2015 American Music Awards at Microsoft Theater on November 22, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)
(L-R) Recording artists Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson, Niall Horan and Harry Styles of 'One Direction' arrive at the 2015 American Music Awards held at the Microsoft Theater. (Photo by Frank Trapper/Corbis via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 22: Liam Payne of One Direction poses in the press room at the 2015 American Music Awards at Microsoft Theater on November 22, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 22: Singer Liam Payne of One Direction performs onstage during the 2015 American Music Awards at Microsoft Theater on November 22, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/AMA2015/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 19: Liam Payne of the band 'One Direction' is seen at 'Jimmy Kimmel Live' on November 19, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by gotpap/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 19: Louis Tomlinson, Liam Payne, Harry Styles and Niall Horan of the band 'One Direction' is seen performing on 'Jimmy Kimmel Live' on November 19, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by RB/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 19: Liam Payne of the band 'One Direction' is seen performing on 'Jimmy Kimmel Live' on November 19, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by RB/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 12: Liam Payne seen arriving at BBC Maida Vale Studios to record The Live Lounge on November 12, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by Neil Mockford/GC Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 17: Liam Payne of the band 'One Direction' is seen at ABC studios in Hollywood on November 17, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by RB/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 13: Liam Payne of One Direction at BBC Radio 2 on November 13, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by SAV/GC Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 02: Liam Payne arrive at Cirque le Soir night club in Central London on November 2, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by Keith Hewitt/GC Images)
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