It's been a thrilling week for Directioners as Tumblr kicked off its Storyboard by dedicating the space to all things One Direction. As 1D week wraps up on Friday (July 13), we decided now was the perfect time to share a juicy Q&A with the British/Irish fivesome.
Storyboard has highlighted some of the ways that Directioners show their loyalty to the quintet through articles and video. As we previously noted, "For the past six months, following every move of One Direction has consumed the lives of millions of Directioners — with Tumblr as their home and headquarters. Each day, the One Direction fan machine functions as a kind of digital clearing house, with fans updating the moment-by-moment but also producing content of their own: fan fiction, art, poetry, and everything in between."
Harry Styles, Louis Tomlinson, Niall Horan, Zayn Malik and Liam Payne now have nearly half a million Tumblr blogs devoted to their every move. We asked the boys to talk about realness, fandom and what it's like to be the object of so much attention. For more on 1D, see Tumblr's special fandom report, along with the gifset, infographic and guide to becoming a Directioner. And read on to see that they had to say!
Tumblr: What's it like to have swarms of girls chasing you across the globe?
Liam Payne: It's very flattering, obviously, as we can see how much they care for us. We just hope they're crying tears of joy! None of us could obviously ever have imagined this just two years ago. I don't think anyone could have seen this coming, to be honest. I don't think there is anything hard about having such a dedicated fanbase. It is actually great to know that there are people out there that love what we do since we put so much hard work into it. The pressure to not disappoint them is obviously there!
Tumblr: One Direction is often the most popular topic on Tumblr. Do you think 1D could have existed before the Internet era?
Zayn Malik: I think that it would have, yes, but it would have taken us so much longer to get established worldwide. The Internet helped us jump all the classic hurdles that bands had back in the day.
Tumblr: What kinds of gifts do you get from fans?
Niall Horan: Fans do come up with some amazing gifts. The amount of detail they put in creating banners for the shows or drawings of us is incredible. We keep most of them and when we are on tour, we have them all collected and sent back to the U.K. We also get given some crazy stuff but we don't mind that.
Tumblr: Did you ever go wild for a band or singer when you were growing up?
Harry Styles: My biggest idol has always been Chris Martin from Coldplay. He is such a great singer, performer and writer. If I could be as talented as any musician, it would be him all day long.
Tumblr: Is it ever stressful knowing that there are literally millions of people analyzing your every move?
Liam: I wouldn't say it's stressful at all. ... Since "The X Factor," our lives have obviously changed but I would say for the better. We have millions of fans that support us and we get to meet them while traveling all over the world.
Tumblr: In many ways, 1D is the most highly produced band out there, but fans say you are also the most real. What do you think makes you down to earth?
Louis Tomlinson: I think that we have always been ourselves from day one and we keep ourselves grounded. We have a big team working with us and we make all the final decisions on everything, be it styling, song and lyric choices, tour, creative. We like to be involved in everything, that way everything we do is "us" and real.
Tumblr: Do you ever feel pressure to live up to the "characters" that your fans create, through fan-fiction or otherwise? What do you think about "Larry"?
Louis: This is a subject that was funny at first but now is actually hard to deal with as I am in a relationship. Me and Harry are best friends, people look into our every move. It is actually affecting the way me and Harry are in public: We want to joke around but there seems to be a different rumor every time we do anything. I act the same way with Harry as I do any of the other boys and my childhood friend Stan.
Tumblr: What's the hardest part about sudden fame?
Zayn: Guess the hardest part is being away from home so much and missing our friends and family. But then again, I get to travel with four of my closest friends all around the world so we keep ourselves positive. And fans help us a lot as well!
Tumblr: What makes 1D different from the other acts?
Liam: I don't know. I think we just try to be ourselves as much as possible and never take anything too seriously.