'History' is 'mainly about the fans and what they've done,' Payne tells EW

By Amanda Michelle Steiner
November 06, 2015 at 06:52 PM EST
Credit: Bill McCay/WireImage

In advance of the Nov. 13 release of their fifth album, Made in the A.M., One Direction dropped “History” on Friday, a hand-clapping, all-together-now celebration of all the band has been through and accomplished alongside their fans.

In a conversation with EW, Liam Payne describes “History” as a “modern version” of “You’ve Got a Friend in Me,” adding, “more than anything, the song is about the way the fans and everyone have created this massive thing — One Direction — over the past five years. Out of [‘History’] comes a little bit of closure for this chapter of One Direction.”

Indeed, with lyrics like, “You and me, we got a whole lot of history / We could be the greatest thing the world has ever seen,” and, “This is not the end / We can make it, you know it, you know,” the track is especially meaningful in context of the band’s upcoming hiatus, which Louis Tomlinson previously told EW “isn’t as big and dramatic as it’s been made out. … I think we deserve a little break.” Nonetheless, “History” comes across as a tying-up of loose ends … just in case. (“So don’t let me go / We can live forever.”)

For the chorus of “History,” Niall Horan and frequent 1D collaborator Julian Bunetta brought fans into the recording studio. “That was actually my idea,” Payne tells EW with a laugh. He wasn’t able to go himself, but “it was nothing personal,” he jokes. “It’s really great because obviously that song is mainly about the fans and what they’ve done; I think it was important that they were a part of it, to close the album.”

Listen to “History” below.