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  • Why did you connect with California?

  • I mean, you could have gone to an airport and handpicked anywhere in the world and started to some degree again.

  • But you chose to come here for me.

  • Honestly, I think like so many of my close friends, people from London who moved here for work and stuff like that.

  • It's like I'd say, since I left home, I have I've never really had the place that feels like Oh, that's That's my home.

  • I'd say my house in London is the most homely, Um, that I feel anywhere just cause I've been there the longest.

  • I've been that flight six years now with, like, all the touring and stuff that we did in the band, I remember there was one point where we've been away for so long.

  • I came home to my house in England and I was home for about five days and I walked in the door and I sat down and I was like, I don't know what to do Like when I'm home.

  • Oh, I've been away for so long.

  • I didn't you know, I hadn't seen my friends for so long.

  • I was I didn't know who was around.

  • I was kind of like, What is this strange reality?

  • Yeah.

  • So there was a point, I guess, where I realized I was more comfortable being on the road.

  • That's what you do.

  • After five days, you head back off again.

  • Yeah, and I was like, Happy todo You know, I think it's actually understandable.

  • I think there's something about that kind of gypsy lifestyle which, particularly outside, make travel, music and such, and the idea of having sort of a a desire to be gypsy just by by a very nature that attract one another.

  • To some degree, I mean, were you always a little bit kind of interest as a kid?

  • Were you looking further afield?

  • Even when you're done, I don't know if I was really.

  • I had never been to London before I moved there, which is crazy to make things right.

  • Now that is crazy, you know, it's not that far away from where I grew up.

  • It's like a three hour drive.

  • But London was like where the rich kids went shopping on the weekend like that with their mom or something, you know.

  • But also everything about it felt it felt like it was like, This is a new challenge.

  • And if it takes me to London, the whole thing seemed to be to just be a new challenge.

  • Was crazy watching it kind of from a distance watching what you and your friends were kind of going through in the whole thing.

  • I mean, I suppose, with the benefits of some wisdom in some age now looking back on it, you must even have a slightly different perspective than when it first ended in 2015.

  • It's been four years and just think of what happened.

  • Yeah, it's pretty great.

  • Is pretty crazy now causes there'll be times where people remind me of stuff that happened I forgot about.

  • And you, like, relive it all over again.

  • You come like Oh, yeah, I was those girls, you know, the 1st 2 years, You don't even feel like you're working alone because you're just so happy to not be going to school.

  • And it's like biting me.

  • Oh, I get to do this.

  • Yeah.

  • Great.

  • Okay, um and you kind of go from also like, you know, when you're a kid and you like to see a T shirt that you want and you, like, save up the exactly man.

  • Yeah, but you'd have to account for, like, the postage and packaging it actually have toe like, save it for this man.

  • You know, you're kind of like doing this.

  • And then you moved to London and you work doing stuff that's fun.

  • And you're like, Can I buy this T shirt?

  • Someone's like, yeah, if you want.

  • Like, Okay.

  • And that kind of feels like what life is like.

  • It just goes from T shirt and a flat from flat house.

  • Tow it.

  • You know, you're lucky enoughto have that kind of success.

  • I mean, I'm interested to know to memories.

  • We're not gonna stick around here for long.

  • So much more to talk about.

  • But while we hear what waas now you've been away from that experience.

  • What's the the strongest prevailing memory you have before?

  • One direction started.

  • Like what?

  • What's the sharpest, most vivid memory you have in your mind before your life was turned upside down?

  • Yeah, for everything changed because it was so studying.

  • I mean, it was over the course of what, 10 weeks and all of a sudden that said, you know, you're not going home again.

  • I mean, probably like a buff day mail.

  • I had this, um I used to live next to a Chinese restaurant.

  • Um, and it was like my favorite restaurant.

  • E used to come home from school.

  • Every day.

  • I get my bedroom, like, open the window, stick my head out.

  • Okay.

  • And, uh, that was like, where I went to my birthday males.

  • But I'd say probably the the biggest stuff would probably be There was a river called the River Dane where, you know, everyone would go down in so money.

  • By that, those little disposable barbecues used to take him someone who'd be in charge of, like, buying sausages.

  • And someone would have to buy the drinks flow.

  • Bobby, you like, put him on the floor.

  • And then you try and squeeze like, yeah, somehow 12 sausages on this, like time.

  • Okay.

  • What's the one prevailing memory you have today off?

  • That it was four years by five years.

  • What's the one?

  • What's one that really Just one of my favorite memories.

  • I'll give you two.

  • First one waas When we'd just been formed a band there was like a picture of us that have been taken from when we were at the shell like someone's mom had taken it, and it was like the first picture of us.

  • It's the five of us and we were staying at my step.

  • That's half We were like living in this little bungalow, all of us together, toe like practice on you, just like sing songs and basically just had a sleepover for like, four days.

  • Everyone drove down.

  • There's a tiny little like newsagents and street.

  • We've heard this picture was being put in the paper, so we were like, Oh, we're gonna be in the paper like that's crazy.

  • So the five of us that, like, left this little bungalow on, walk down to the newsagents and got paper and then came back and had breakfast.

  • And we're all just like sitting, staring at the paper and, like passing around the paper, were like, Let me see it get leprosy and I don't know, I guess just because we have we just didn't know it was gonna have a timeless image that's a timeless image, so happy that first real piece of like recognition when you when you realize that it's not, it's not a controlled environment anymore.

  • Like people that you don't know down the street can actually take a look at you.

  • Here you is.

  • That's still without a doubt, A life changing moment, every out of respect Because it only happens one time after that, everything kind of changes.

  • Yeah, because we were We were watching.

  • Expect a rat.

  • My family were at my cousin's house the day that my audition went on there.

  • And, you know, we watched it like this crazy.

  • And then we're driving home and we go to petrol station toe stop off, Philip, I'm in the petrol station, and this guy goes, Well, you just don't x factor.

  • And I was like, Yes, I waas Um but yeah, I'd say that.

  • And then the other one, I guess, wants the band of released.

  • Our ed was we were in Sweden recording what makes you beautiful in studio.

  • Someone came up into the room was like, there's two girls outside and we're like, Why?

  • And they're like that.

  • They like looking for you.

  • And we were all just like, but we're in suede on.

  • So that was like, another super interesting name.

  • Yeah, I mean, that was kind of thing like Oh my God, that's so crazy.

  • Like we're in Sweden.

  • How have you know?

  • Fast forward to the end of it and you are out here a few months afterwards.

  • And like that decompression leading into the writing of the first album, right leading into your self titled album.

  • That idea of having some independence for the first time, really, they can do whatever you want, how that feels, Uh, pretty amazing.

  • Actually.

  • I didn't really have a plan for like when I wanted to make a record.

  • I know I want it stopped right in some point, and that's kind of why I came out here and I started with a kid up said Sweet Creature was the first song we did.

  • That was like in my first Brian sessions, when I kind of started like because up until that point, I done a lot of sessions with different people, and I tried to write with many different people as possible just to feel like just like Mom, I just wanted to line.

  • It was like the best way I've ever heard Song writing described is like, it's kind of like surfing in that You can practice gang up on the board as much as you want, and sometimes the wave just doesn't come or the wave comes.

  • But you haven't practiced gang up on the board.

  • Every now and again, you've practiced enough on the wave comes and that's when you write that song.

  • That's when that's when it comes through.

  • That's when the means everything's in the right place.

  • So I kind of always wanted to be prepared to stand up on the board whenever the wave Yusef no, enough.

  • I wish myself actually the waves that ever really, really intent on.

  • I think the last time I served was here, and I got absolutely being not like it.

  • Like flipping terrible.

  • Yeah, I mean, it's a good look until you get in the water and you realize that you're a little out of your depth, literally.

  • How important was friendship to you when you started out as well?

  • Because you were trying out with, like, you say, you were trying out different songwriters, but I felt like when the album finally came out, you found a tight group of friends who we were just collaborate, I'd say to finish the thought when I'd been writing in the band.

  • It was kind of like if I'd ever written stuff that that was just with a friend or something, It was kind of like, Well, I'm not going to release any music.

  • But what would it sound like if I was to write a song?

  • That was Was that a contractual thing, or was it just a loyalty band thing?

  • Just I didn't really want?

  • Oh, yeah.

  • And, um, definitely didn't have time to.

  • Yeah, right.

  • But I knew that, like maybe one day I'd want to do it.

  • But I wasn't like, I can't wait to get out of this thing so I could go make my records.

  • Yeah, you know, So did the end of it creep up on you a little bit?

  • Well, I wouldn't say crept up, I guess.

  • The last year of it, we all kind of knew we were going to stop at the end of that year.

  • So how do you know?

  • I mean, you know, it's it's this juggernaut.

  • It's just non school.

  • We would have, like, we'd sit down and have conversations about like, everyone.

  • Good.

  • Every wants to keep going and that kind of thing.

  • There was a part of me where I felt like all of the decisions I've made as an adult.

  • The affected my life and what I had what I was doing with my life had been made as a group.

  • And I think there was a part of me that felt like I wanted to make some decisions for myself, where it was like you never really had to make the decision because I could I could put my hat in the ring, but still be like, Oh, majority rules and I go out voted.

  • I felt like I need to make some decisions that just effect May.

  • You know Zana really did that and he bounced out mid tour, I think was pretty amazing.

  • You guys saw that toe through for fans.

  • I think that's probably a well be 24 hours people where they thought, Well, that's going to start something looking back on it now.

  • Like, how challenging was that to complete that tour?

  • And to see that through And how you know, how impactful was that decision for himto not see?

  • See it through to the end?

  • Yeah.

  • I mean, it was, uh I mean, it was It was hard.

  • You know, Part of it was it was kind of like we were sad oversee that someone had left, but also sad that he was.

  • So he was no enjoying it so much that he had to leave because I think at the time to the tour and everything was going so well and we were everyone kind of got this place where everyone was kind of living in a way where I think I felt pretty good, Will enjoy.

  • Enjoy it.

  • Yeah, it felt like everyone was kind of enjoying it.

  • And, um, yeah, it's a big part of it was it was kind of being like, Wow, I didn't realize I wasn't enjoying it that much, you know?

  • You know, obviously there was a big, big moments for us where we were like what we do it.

  • You know, we were about to start recording a new album and stuff, and it was like we just we recorded this without him.

  • But I'd say in the moment, I guess the four of us became close up because we were like, OK, this is a hurdle that we weren't expecting, and I think you deal with this in many different places, when when their work with, like, traveling and touring.

  • And it's a demanding thing and no, everyone likes doing it.

  • But it's kind of like if someone is no enjoying it, you'd rather they don't do it.

  • That's why contracts are strange to me.

  • Like I understand this.

  • It does.

  • I do them when there's a lot of money involved in a particular win.

  • This.

  • There are certain businesses that really work in the arts and things that are creative.

  • I can never understand keeping people against their will.

  • You know, I never get that with, like, the record deal stuff where it's like, Why would you unite when people that won't release people from contracts?

  • Why would you want?

  • Why would you want to begrudged employees while in the creative I don't get it makes to feel when they don't want to make it seems like completely canto productive to me.

  • But I mean, you know, I'm also know a businessman.

  • So you doing the writing it to find you got some good instance you hire Well, I don't love.

  • Maybe I'd say my good is the only thing I do trust just terms of people.

  • That's really important, right?

  • I mean, there's only two rules.

  • You should We live by instinct and diligence, right?

  • One gets you into the room.

  • The 2nd 1 makes you double check and make sure you should stay there.

  • I can also tell because the times where I've ever been, like, really, really upset by people.

  • Yeah, is when I'm more upset with myself when I've got it wrong.

  • Yeah, because I feel like I have a Really I'm like, I feel like I'm a pretty good judge of character.

  • And that's the only time I feel myself get really upset with stuff like that is why you like, Oh, I trust this person are you know, I feel like they're good thing, and then it goes the other way, and you're kind of like that wrong.

  • And then I end up like, really bummed out about it for a while.

  • Yeah.

  • Yeah, that's that's classic hard on yourself syndrome, to be honest with, you know, taking other people's bush three and blaming yourself.

  • It's that that there will be one on one, but everyone I want Have you tried that therapy, huh?

  • Yeah, I have.

  • Actually, Yeah, I love it.

  • Yeah, I think for a really long time, especially when I started going toe California There was a big thing for me where I felt like everyone went to therapy, right?

  • And I I think for a long time I was like, I don't need that, you know, It's very like British Way of looking at it, I think.

  • And then I think there was a point where I kind of I was trying to work out a lot more stuff about myself because obviously, then I was.

  • Then it was just a walk.

  • Um, and I think it kind of comes with when you're trying to make music.

  • It's so navel gazing.

  • And you're just like like the at making an album.

  • I feel like is the most self indulgent time.

  • Yeah, you can think off because you're just like if you didn't have to just share it if you didn't actually condition share it with us, it would be narcissism of the most perfect order.

  • You imagine?

  • You just make like, an album.

  • Just don't release.

  • It would be, I suppose, in a weird way.

  • But then we get we get the trade.

  • So we get is we get to trade on it.

  • We get all that kind of navel gazing, as you put it in that self reflection somehow forms this magic shape that we get to apply to our own lives.

  • And then we become narcissistic cause we say, Well, Harry, speaking to me, right, So I get so but yeah, I think I think with the therapy thing, I just realized I was just getting in my own way.

  • You know, it's been a thing where I've definitely felt have an impact on my life and something that I've kind of introduced some friends to who had gone through stuff and they were very skeptical about it.

  • I would have seen You're a good friend.

  • You're a loyal person.

  • Try to bay.

  • Yeah.

  • So who was some of your best friends with the people that help you through these times?

  • That is some of the people that you know really?

  • You close to?

  • I'm pretty lucky actually with with that stuff because And I was probably why I didn't go to therapy.

  • Oh, yeah.

  • Is because I have those friends.

  • Well, have the same conversation I would have with a therapist.

  • I was at this talk thing where Alan bought one was talking and he was talking about how, like, really friendship is just built on vulnerability.