— -- Members of One Direction said today that life is “different” with the absence of former member Zayn Malik, but that things are still going “great.”
“Obviously, it’s different but, you know, when you lose a member of your team obviously everyone gets a little bit close together,” Liam Payne, 21, said today on “Good Morning America.”
"It’s still going great and that’s what this album is about,” Payne said. “We’re still going strong and we’re all still here.”
Payne and his bandmates -- Harry Styles, Niall Horan, and Louis Tomlinson -- surprised fans on Friday with the unexpected release of their first single, “Drag Me Down,” from their forthcoming album.
The song, their first as a foursome since Malik left the band in March, peaked at number one on iTunes in 86 countries, to date. The single was also streamed 4.75 million times on Friday alone, smashing Spotify's highest streams in one-day record held by Wiz Khalifa.
“I think we just wanted to kind of drop it out of nowhere," Styles, 21, said of the surprise release. "Usually we kind of do a big run-up to it and we thought it’d be fun this time to just kind of drop it, and it was fun."
“It worked, I guess,” he added.
"Also, it's the middle of the day somewhere in the world," Horan, 21, added with a laugh.
As for the new album, Payne shared some new details in front of the thousands of fans who slept overnight in Central Park to watch One Direction perform live in their first national TV performance since Malik’s departure.
“I suppose it’s quite eclectic really isn’t it,” Payne said, adding that the band took inspiration from The Police, another famous English rock band.
While the band prepares their new album and travels the globe for their “On The Road Again” tour, one member, Louis Tomlinson, is preparing for a change in his personal life, becoming a dad.
“Obviously it’s a very exciting time...so thank you,” Tomlinson, 23, said, confirming for the first time that he is expecting his first child, with stylist Briana Jungwirth.
With the future in mind, all four members of One Direction have gotten behind the Action 1D campaign, asking their fans to describe the kind of world they want to live in by sharing film and photos using the #action1D hashtag on social media.
The campaign is part of action/2015, a global citizens' movement with the idea that 2015 can be the year the world can set the agenda to end extreme poverty and take on inequality and climate change.
“The thing is, the people who support us have such incredible power that I don’t maybe think that they even know about,” Styles explained. “We wanted to use it and do something to make a real difference.”
“The power that they have is kind of aimed now towards, you know, poverty and global warming and hunger and stuff like that so that we’re trying, you know, to get people to kind of listen and do something about it,” Styles added, calling the group’s fans “very powerful.”