Tomlinson and Payne each co-wrote around half of the tracks on Midnight Memories.
‘We’re still learning,’ says Payne with endearing honesty. ‘But we’re getting better and better. It takes longer to get your confidence in writing than it does in performing, and we’ve definitely started to hit our stride.
‘Working in the studio is the best thing for me about being in the band.’
Tomlinson says, ‘You start off just listening to everyone, but the more you do, the more decisions you start to make yourself.
‘At first it was really hard: you sit in a room with writers asking you about your love life and stuff like that, and they start to piece together a song. But you keep on doing it and we’ve written more and more.
‘This album is definitely more rock, more of us. Writing the songs ourselves – that’s the thing that makes you start to feel you deserve to be where you are, not all the other crazy stuff.
‘We do look at other bands – even people like Take That – and see what it was that made them.
‘Whatever else, it’s the songs that are going to last, so that’s much more of a focus for us.’