The British pop star admits he and his fellow singers' relentless touring and promotional schedule led to him regularly downing alcohol to help him through his time away from home.

Payne tells Attitude magazine, "I'm not afraid to say that I went through a pretty bad (drinking) stage. And for that time in my life it was perfect for me. I mean, you're away from home and that can get hard.

"Also there were a lot of things on my mind and that's what helped me through. Now I'm a lot more focused and I feel good to be out of that zone and be more concentrated... There were just a few times that I went over the limit with things, then I had to pull it back."

The band is set to go on hiatus next year (16) after its current tour ends with a gig in Sheffield, England in October (15) and its new album is released in March (16).