One Direction star Liam Payne is glad Zayn Malik quit before they wrote their new album as they would have been forced to start all over again.
Zayn stunned fans in March (15) by walking out on the boyband during the Asian leg of its world tour, stating that he wanted to live a "normal" life after five years in the spotlight.
The group had only recently started to work on tracks for its new record, Made in the A.M., and fellow singer Liam has now opened up about the effects of Zayn's shock decision, insisting the timing worked out well.
Liam explains that if Zayn had left it a few more weeks before announcing his departure, they would have been so far into the writing process that they would have been forced to scrap a huge amount of material featuring Zayn's input.
"He'd actually left before we started to really make it," Liam tells Kent 'Smallzy' Small on Nova Fm Australia. "We'd written songs but those songs are nothing at that point, they're not definitely going to make the album, there's no solid ground, so those songs could be for anybody - like, it's just a writing session.
"So it was kinda crucial at the time that he left that he had left (sic) otherwise it might have made things very different for us, 'cause we'd have to do a lot of re-recording of different things - more the work side of things than anything."
Liam has previously branded Zayn's departure from One Direction a "disaster" but admitted it was always a possibility, saying, "One Direction was never really Zayn's bag, if you know what I mean. His taste in music was a bit different and I guess that's what drove him to do what he did in the end, which is not necessarily a bad thing. Everyone's come out fine from it, thanks to our beautiful fans. And he's off doing what he loves as well, so both parties are winners in the end of a disaster of a situation. It's all good."
Following his departure from the group, Zayn moved to the U.S. to work on solo material and called off his engagement to Little Mix star Perrie Edwards.
One Direction's new album Made in the A.M. is due to hit stores on Friday (13Nov15).