It's been seven months since Zayn Malik confirmed he was leaving One Direction, but in hindsight it seems like it could have been the best decision for the band.
The remaining four lads are on the verge of their longest break yet, but Niall Horan says they're closer than ever.
"We’re happy and everything’s worked out," he told 2FM's Eoghan McDermott in an interview recorded in the early hours of this morning.
"It’s actually brought us, the rest of us, closer together."
And speaking about Zayn's decision to leave the band mid-tour, Niall said there was never any bad blood.
"There were never any arguments or disagreements, or anything like that, I think he just fell out of love with it in the end.
"Towards the end you could see he wasn’t enjoying it as much, his heart wasn’t in it as much."
Back in March it seemed to many as if Zayn's decision to leave had been sparked by an ultimatum from his then-fiancée Perrie Edwards – which Niall did seem to allude to in his interview.
"He had a couple of conversations where he had to make a few decisions I guess," Niall said.
There was more drama for the foursome earlier this week when their Belfast gig was cancelled at the eleventh hour, moments before they were due to appear on stage.
Today it was reported that Liam Payne's alleged "sudden illness" may in fact have been more of a "meltdown" sparked by the stress of constant work.
I'm so sorry to everybody I disappointed last night. I'm feeling better now. I really hope everyone can make the rescheduled date on Friday.
— Liam (@Real_Liam_Payne) October 21, 2015
But when pressed by Eoghan today, Niall didn't give too much away.
"He was 'unable to perform,' that's all I will say," the Mullingar man said with a laugh.
And with an indefinite hiatus ahead, what does Niall hope to do with all that free time? Golf, travel and head to the gym, that's what.
"By the end of next year I’d love to be a low single-figures golfer," he admitted.
"I’d like to be in some sort of good shape too."
Listen to the full interview below: