Being a member of the most famous boy band in the world may seem like a glamorous job, but that’s not always the case behind closed doors. Speaking candidly with Men’s Health Australia, former One Direction singer Liam Payne opened up about relying on alcohol to get through his often overwhelming reality during the group’s rise to stardom.

“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 25-year-old expressed. “It’s almost like putting the Disney costume on before you step up on stage and underneath the Disney costume I was pissed quite a lot of the time because there was no other way to get your head around what was going on,” he confessed. 

Liam Payne
GORC/GC Images

“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.” Of course, Liam is hardly the first pop star to struggle with substance abuse or mental health issues. In fact, he considers those things to be age-old issues in the industry. “It’s difficult when you have the level of fame that we had in the band,” the father-of-one — he and ex Cheryl Cole share 2-year-old Bear Grey — told the publication.

“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,” Liam noted. “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.”

Of course, Liam’s “sense of normality” is due in large part to being a father to his darling son. The proud papa told Us Weekly that he is “really lucky” to have a kiddo like Bear. How sweet!

Can’t get enough celebrity content? Make sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel for fun, exclusive videos with your favorite stars!

For access to all our exclusive celebrity videos and interviews – Subscribe on YouTube!