Liam Payne Gets Candid About Wild Partying, Larry Shippers, and the Fate of One Direction in ‘Attitude’

Liam Payne Denies Homophobia
And Harry Styles Revives Haylor Fans with Two Words

Ask Liam Payne how he really feels about the fact that fans worship the idea of Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson being in a secret relationship, and an unsupportive answer about the “cult” you will get.

Payne candidly expressed his frustration over those fans who fantasize about a secret romantic relationship between Styles and Tomlinson, aka “Larry Shippers”, in his interview with British gay lifestyle magazine, Attitude. He said that after the U.S. Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage, “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, which is absolutely nuts and drives me insane.”

On why it drives him “insane,” he replied:

It’s like when you know the ins and outs of what is going on with people it’s just annoying when it’s so stupid. It becomes like a conspiracy or like a cult, the people that watch them and think that every move they make is a gesture toward them being together, and I know it’s not true and it makes me mad.

Yikes. However, anytime you call someone a cult, chances are they’re not gonna take to it very kindly… Payne added:

I get tagged in drawings of Louis and Harry being together. I remember one time I was sitting next to my dad and I see this picture of me on top of Niall [Horan], which was quite intimidating. It’s just really weird to have people drawing these sexually explicit pictures of us in strange situations.

But Payne maintained that he found it odd since the One Direction fanbase is so young. “I don’t think it’s the right hobby for these girls to be enjoying,” he explained. “I find it very strange that someone so young can think up these stories or even imagine these things are going on. That for me is the sad and sorry side of what we have done.”

Of course, he took to Twitter, once again, to defend his comments that many interpreted as homophobic, or disrespectful, or out of line.

Payne has now had to show that he supports the LGBT community on three separate occasions. Additionally, he told Attitude that he supports gay marriage, commenting, “It’s strange to me that countries are still refusing to pass the [gay marriage] law. You can’t live in the past, you have to move with the times.”

Meanwhile, neither Styles nor Tomlinson have given any indication that they’re bothered by any “Larry Stylinson” shippers. At a concert in June in Sweden, Harry even held up a large flag bearing the image of a 2011 tweet to him from Tomlinson that read, “Always in my heart @Harry_Styles. Yours sincerely, Louis.”

Tomlinson, of course, is expecting a baby with Briana Jungwirth. Payne commented that “He’s very happy about becoming a dad. But the funny thing is, there are some people out there who think that Louis getting Briana pregnant is fake. That’s it’s not real; it’s a cover up. And that’s the sort of s–t that gets to me. But you have to hold your tongue and that’s fine.”

Payne also went into detail about his partying ways while on tour, and the future of One Direction now that they’ve announced they will be going on hiatus starting next year.

On a solo career, he told Attitude, “I realize now this is the time to start branching out and exploring. 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.”

*Breathe* The boys will be back, at some point.

He added that this cover shoot was “first time I have done something on my own,” and he hopes to follow suit and pursue songwriting, production, and other aspects of a solo career. “I want to target every part of the industry,” he said.

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.

Payne also brought to light that his image isn’t as squeaky clean as you might believe, and that he went through a dark period.

I started drinking a lot and I began to get a bit tubbier. In fact, because of that I was getting fat jibes all the time, which hurt me…

I’m not afraid to say that I actually went through a pretty bad [drinking] stage. And for that time in my life, that was perfect for me. I mean, you’re away from home and that can get hard. Also there were a lot of things on my mind and that’s what helped me through. Now I’m a lot more focused and I feel good to be out of that zone and be more concentrated. There were a just a few times that I went over the limit with things and then I had to pull it back.

On settling down with his girlfriend Sophia Smith, Payne added, “We have talked about marriage, but 22 seems a bit young for us. Sophia needs to go off and do what she wants to do. I don’t want her to be one of those stay-at-home girlfriends who doesn’t really do much.”

Payne was featured on October’s covers of Attitude, and also named their Sexiest Man Of The Year. He said of the title, “It’s a shock but I am very thankful to those who think I deserve this. It’s a great title to have.”

A spokesperson for Attitude praised Liam’s shoot to Daily Mail, saying, “It’s the first solo shoot and interview any of the members of One Direction have done, their first gay press shoot and I think the only magazine promo for their new album. The news that the band are taking a hiatus or splitting up, whichever version you believe, means that this story should be global news and I’ll be surprised if it doesn’t become our biggest-selling issue ever.”

The October issue of Attitude hits newsstands on Sept. 16; the digital edition is available now. Check out more smoldering photos of Payne in the gallery above.