Louis Tomlinson is fuelling a One Direction war with Justin Bieber by calling their chart battle with the troubled pop star "a joke".
The boyband is set to go head-to-head with Justin next month (Nov15) when both their albums are released on the same day, and the Baby star has kicked off a war-of-words with his rivals via social media.
Justin first joked about the chart battle in a Snapchat video last week (ends04Oct15) in which he said, "The face you make when you come out with an album the same day as Justin Bieber" before pulling a horrified expression.
He went on to declare One Direction picked 13 November (15) to release Made in the A.M. to drum up publicity for the record by deliberately pitching themselves against his new album, Purpose.
Louis has now revealed he and his One Direction bandmates are amused by Justin's attempts to start a public war.
"We mocked him back. It's all just a bit of a laugh and a joke... Let's have it," he tells Scottish radio station Clyde 1 Radio. "It's gonna be a good little battle, it's good for pop culture," adds his bandmate Niall Horan.
Louis says of the upcoming album launch: "It's always nerve wracking because once you're in the bubble of writing it and recording it, it's hard to really establish how good a song is. So it's always nerve wracking for the first listen, for sure."
Justin previously said of the band's plan to schedule a chart battle: "I think it was strategy on their part because my release date was first... Whatever... It's going to be fun. I'm excited to see what happens."