Speaking on the People, Just People podcast, the 27-year-old singer admitted he often wanted the freedom to do everyday things when on tour with bandmates Harry Styles, Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson and Zayn Malik.
But it just wasn’t possible with the “hysteria” surrounding the group, who first rose to fame after they were formed on The X Factor UK in 2010.
“We were 17, 18, 19 for the first few years, and I struggled with it,” Horan told host Dermot O’Leary. “As you know, I have to be doing something all the time and the thought of just closing the curtain in my hotel room was just madness to me.
“I struggled with the idea of, ‘Why won’t you just let us out? We just want to go for a walk’, you know?’ But, you can’t get inside the brain of a fan, and now I completely get it. But at the time, you’re like, ‘You’re our age! Just let us out! We just want to walk down the street. You must understand!'”
It was pandemonium even when they weren’t on the road. Horan said that it was just as “nuts” when the boys were home in the UK.
“We’d go and do signings here and there and bits and pieces and that was crazy,” Horan added. “That was the first kind of side of it, you know, banging on car windows. Around the release of ‘What Makes You Beautiful’ is when it really kicked off.
“We did an HMV run around the country — Glasgow, Birmingham, Manchester — to do the signings and that was the first time I seen the madness.”
Although One Direction is currently on indefinite hiatus, the boys’ fanbase remains strong.
In their six years together, the group sold more than 200 million records and won close to 250 awards, including seven Brit Awards, four MTV Video Music Awards, six Billboard Music Awards and seven American Music Awards.
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