One Direction

One Direction

One Direction are one of the biggest bands in the world right now, selling out arenas in seconds and their latest album a massive smash hit in the charts.

While all might be looking great on the balance sheet, it seems as if not everything in the world of One Direction is sunny, with reports coming out that Zayn Malik may be on the brink of walking out of the group. While these reports have since been debunked by the bands spokespeople, Zayn has spoken before about his homesickness.

It raises the question as to how good the group are looking in the long term. The band did the cardinal sin of releasing two full albums within twelve months of each other (something that showed in the rushed feel of the second album), something that used to be a sure fire way to see that a group may be headed for the rocks.

Look at the bands that have lasted over the decades, though thick and thin. They’re the bands that came up together, the ones that started as a group of friends and simply want to put out the best music they can. They’re also typically the more traditional style of band, not just a vocal group.

Neither of these aspects really applies to One Direction. This is a band that was thrown together by the judges at X Factor as the groups that had turned up simply weren’t good enough. They’re also entirely vocal based, with none of the band taking up any instrumental roles at all. Not only does this mean that they’re all more likely to be tempted to go for solo glory, but that the band is more reliant on each of them specifically. A normal band can change its drummer or bassist without too much upheaval, but changing out a vocalist is a much bigger deal.

The quintet might be good friends, but do they have the deep bond that many bands have built over the years of struggling and searching for recognition?

This is a band built on the personalities and charms of the five boys involved, not on the quality of their song writing or the depth of their instrumentals. Let be honest, the music comes second when it comes to most Directioners.

Also, how long will it be until one of the guys has had enough of sharing the spotlight and wants to claim it all for themselves?

That’s not a slight against any one of One Direction’s members, but a factor with boy bands as a whole. Take That had Robbie Williams leave it to do solo projects, Boyzone had Ronan leave, ‘N Sync had Timberlake run off to do his own thing. All these groups soon collapsed after the walkout of a member. It’s a simple fact that boy bands don’t last for a long time.

All these historical signs show that the band's fans should make the most of what they have now, as it looks as if the foundations for the group might not be able to last too many bruising storms over the next few years.

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  1. by James 08th Feb 2013 13:13

    One Direction will be gone inside 18 months, I'll put money on it!

  2. by Fangirl 09th Feb 2013 01:52

    I agree with Cameron and James. 1D will not be around long term.

    Specifically 1D has already told fans that they are going on hiatus after the 2013 tour and talked about taking a long break and getting back together. Despite worldwide demand for concerts, there any many places not included in their 2013 tour and they haven't planned any dates for 2014 despite selling the tickets for the 2013 tour a year in advance.

    1D have been promoting Harry Styles for a solo career for at least the last year or more. Articles about 1D say things like Harry and the boys or only quote Harry, etc. Harry answers most of the interview questions, even if his answers aren't interesting. Everything has been focused to feature Harry. Yes, he seems charismatic but the earlier interviews where ALL the boys participated, even Zayn, are a lot more entertaining and memorable.

    There have been reports of Harry working and recording things outside of 1D. I would not be shocked if soon after the 2013 tour fans get surprised with a Harry Styles solo album. It's very interesting how they have pulled back on featuring any aspect of One Direction other than Harry Styles except when they are doing product promotion.

    1D have stopped most of their fan stuff like video diaries and twitcams. They are losing fan votes awards likely due to all the drama in the fandom. 1D don't address crazy news reports and rumors so fans have no idea what is true or no true regarding the band. Fans are moving on to escape the drama. There were reports that 1D had signed a new 3 year record deal but there has never been an announcement or been confirmed or denied by band. With this band, fans distrust most information they hear about it until something actually happens. Their management team relies on fan manipulations like leaking tracks or crazy tweets but some fans have caught them and called them out so there is a portion of the fandom that mainly stick around to point out the lies and manipulations.

    Louis Tomlinson regularly "hits out" at fans with no apologies. His tweets with swear words remain undeleted despite the young fan base. Louis and Zayn are portrayed as having problems handling fame.

    1D also seems isolated from the rest of the music industry. Peers have publicly said that they aren't in it for the music and haven't paid their dues. 1D has not seemed to try to establish industry relationships outside the British music scene or tried to address those comments by doing collaborations or doing gigs aimed at older audiences. Another thing 1D doesn't do is talk about it's musical training or development. That's the ONE thing everybody wants to know about, especially their peers in the industry and it's the ONE thing they NEVER talk about.

    Interviews with most bands feature music, practice, fooling around with songs, things related to their profession. Except during X-Factor fans have not seen that from 1D. 1D have a built in sell that they don't use that would keep people interested for a long time. They could do monthly videos showing development as they learned instruments, wrote songs, get vocal training, dance lessons, etc. but that is NEVER discussed or featured. 1D complains about interviewers asking them the same questions all the time but not being able to ask professional musicians about their profession is obviously a handicap for interviewers and they boys have shared much about hobbies, skills, interests, so obviously coming up with new and interesting questions to ask them can be hard.

    All articles focus on their personal lives, in particular their girlfriends. They are the only band ever to feature their girlfriends as part of their brand promotions. In December 4/5 1D had girlfriends. The girlfriends were more heavily featured when they were in NYC for their Madison Square Garden Concerts then the band. Few remember the positive reviews of the MSG concert because the same night Harry Styles started publicly dating Taylor Swift and that was the headline the next day along with Harry's first of three public "walks of shame" from her hotel.

    Reports are that Harry's entire relationship with Taylor was faked for publicity but there are still articles popping up daily about them getting back together, seeing each other secretly, Taylor writing songs about Harry, etc. So if Harry does put out a solo album in the next year or two, likely many people who aren't One Direction fans might take a look at it due to ALL the PR Harry has received the past year as well as his being one of Taylor's ex's as far as the public knows.

    To sum up. Nothing 1D is doing right now seemed to be focused on being a band for the long haul. They are not trying to maintain their fanbase or gain new fans, they are not telling people that they are in it for the long haul, they are not telling people about their professional development as musicians, they are publicizing Harry as being separate from the group and not socializing with his bandmates outside of work, and they have been heavily promoting Harry Styles and not One Direction.

    1D was put together as a band with potential and it's obvious that if they focused on the music more than their images and PR that they could likely remain around awhile, but the band seems to have decided to make as much money as fast as hey can without concerning themselves with their craft. But then again there are probably few struggling musicians that would blame them. They had a chance to make enough money for several lifetimes and they took it. They will have the freedom to figure out how to keep themselves occupied the rest of their lives without worrying about money. Obviously they are young men who were probably advised to take the money, so it's not a knock on them, they probably made a very good decision. Long term success in the music business is are rare as finding a job where you can earn as much money in a lifetime, if at all, that they have made in just a few years.

    Lastly, it's highly unlikely that if they take a long hiatus and try to come back, that they will achieve the level of fame that they currently enjoy. Given that their first single was only released Summer 2011 and they've been around such a short time, taking a break before 2015 at the earliest is fairly ill-advised. Most musicians would scoff at the idea of taking a long break this early in their careers but their financial success, gives them a freedom that few bands will ever enjoy.

    Bye Bye One Direction.

  3. by zilt 10th Feb 2013 07:07

    Given how often I hear people speak about it, and the few who do only have negative things to say, I'm inclined to agree with you.