ABC/Paula LoboLiam Payne is opening up about how success with One Direction almost killed him.

On an episode of the podcast Table Manners with Jessie Ware, Liam says since the band went on hiatus in 2015, he’s been spending time regaining control of his life.

“It was really scary at first,” he said of taking a break from 1D. “But I needed to stop, definitely. It would have killed me. One hundred percent.”

He added, “There’s no stop button. You’ve got no control over your life. That’s why I lost complete control of everything… We were definitely overworked. I had no personal life. I learned nothing about myself.”

Now, with a successful solo career, his two-year-old son Bear and new girlfriend, Maya Henry, Liam says he’s “the happiest I’ve ever been.”

As for whether he and his 1D band mates have stayed close, he admits they haven’t.

“You have people you associate yourself with at work but you don’t see them outside of work and we won’t really have a job together anymore,” he said. “So with someone like Harry [Styles] for example, I just don’t really have much in common with the boy.”

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