Louis Tomlinson's 'Proper Messy' VMA Memory Involves Hot Dogs And Rihanna

And the rest of his One Direction bandmates, of course

Louis Tomlinson debuted his solo single, "Back to You," earlier this summer with a music video of him wandering around his hometown of Doncaster, in northern England. And it's fitting to watch that clip now, mere days out from the 2017 VMAs, and remember his first days on the MTV stage as part of One Direction in the early 2010s.

Tomlinson recently stopped by the MTV office and reminisced back to 1D's first years at the VMAs — when they took home Best New Artist and Best Pop Video in 2012 and when they presented Best Pop Video to Selena Gomez in 2013 — and a particularly "messy" experience he had sitting next to his bandmate Niall Horan.

The pair, along with the rest of the 1D squad, were seated not far from superstars like Rihanna and Drake, gorging on some snacks, and feeling like maybe they were a bit out of their element.

"We were feeling out of our depth," Tomlinson explained to MTV News, "and I just looked over and me and Niall are just, like, scarfing eating this hot dog proper messy, thinking, like, we shouldn't really be here."

This year, Louis' former 1D bandmates Zayn and Harry Styles are up for some Moon Person statues: Zayn for his Taylor Swift team-up, "I Don't Wanna Live Forever (Fifty Shades Darker)" in the Best Collaboration category, and Harry for Best Pop and Best Visual Effects for "Sign of the Times."

The 2017 VMAs touch down at the Forum in Inglewood, California, on Sunday, August 27 at 8 p.m. ET/PT. See the full list of nominees and vote for Best New Artist now!