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Tom Parker has been locked away in a studio since his band, The Wanted, went on a hiatus last year, but he has finally come out of hiding to unveil his brand new sound as a music producer and, of course, have a little chat with us.
Catching up with Tom at the super swanky Lights Of Soho, we reminisced about the good old days and talked everything from Jay McGuiness’ dance moves to Justin Bieber, but of course we also had to get to the bottom of that notorious Twitter spat with One Direction.
In case you’d forgotten, the most dramatic popstar beef in history went down in 2013 when the two biggest British boybands of the time knocked heads over… Well, nobody really knows how it started.
Zayn Malik called Max George “chlamydia boy” and then threatened to meet for a physical fight before Tom and Louis Tomlinson had an almighty Twitter spat that saw five out of the ten potential bandmates and three of the girlfriends get involved.
It was messy and hilarious in equal measures, to be honest.
Speaking exclusively to Yahoo Celebrity, Tom now admits that he massively regrets the beef that he had with One Direction, and revealed that even he doesn’t know why there was so much tension between the bands.
He told us: “Everyone makes mistakes going through their teenage years, I make mistakes, nobody is perfect. The whole One Direction thing was just immaturity.
“As you get older you look back and think ‘Why did you do that? Why did you get into that?’ and the situation escalated really quickly, over the space of a year it felt like we were at war.
“It’s one of those things that just happens, everyone was writing about it and we were like ‘Yeah, we have got beef with eachother’, but if you take a step back you’re like ‘Wait a minute, there’s no substance to it’.
“It was just ridiculous, it was so petty and based on nothing. At the time it was really serious but when you look back it is funny. All the fans, even their fans, look back at it now and think that was a funny time.”
And Tom also experienced first-hand just how scary One Direction fans can be, adding: “We had a big fanbase but they had a super-sized fanbase and when it first happened we all got sh*t every day for about two years.
“It was just full on and you look back at it and think, ‘Well that was petty’, as time goes by it does all pass. I’m older now and a bit more mature and I would happily say that I’m so happy for them and their level of success.
“I don’t think there’s any boyband that have had that success since The Beatles - they’re an around the world global phenomenon and I take my hat off to them.”
And although there was mass competition between the bands, Tom told us that, on reflection, he’s glad that The Wanted didn’t quite reach One Direction’s level of mass fame.
He explained: “When I look back at it I’m really happy that we didn’t get to that level. We had a really great level of success and a strong fanbase and traveled the world but you get to a level where you can’t even have a normal life.
“I feel sorry for them because they can’t even do anything normal these days - they can’t even pop into Topman without security. I’m happy they’re having this pause for a little bit to try and get some normality back.
“You need to just have a break as a group, you want to be able to go and explore your own life as an individual and see what is out there. I know what it’s like and I think it’s been nice for me to have a bit more stability and normality in my life.”
Although now that the 27-year-old’s new music is ready to go, Tom is more than aware that he has his work cut out for him if he wants to become a respected music producer, admitting: “ I think you need to distinguish what you are as an artist and that’s ultimately a producer and to make music.
“It was a shock to some people and I think that’s what I wanted to do, I wanted to shock people and do something a bit different.
“I just really want to get out there with a new career and let people know that I was in a boyband and have people think that it was cool. It will be hard but I’m prepared to be in it for the long run and just go with it.
“I know that there will be a lot of stereotypes and a lot of people won’t listen to me because of who I am; it’s going to be tough but I’m prepared for the challenge.”
And, having listened to some of Tom’s music already, we can say with absolute faith that he is definitely going to win over even the most hard-nosed music snob in the business.