Gary Barlow: I know how Zayn feels
GARY Barlow has spoken of his sympathy for 1D’s Zayn Malik as he recalled the aftermath of his Take That’s 1990s split.
The Cheshire-born singer songwriter famously sank into a depression as he tried – and failed – to break America as a solo star.
And as Zayn tries to negotiate a new career for himself after the success of One Direction, Gary gave words of support.
“It’s easier for the band to cope with but harder for him going off on his own,” Gary told the Daily Mirror. “I don’t know what his character is but being in a group like that is a big high. However, he seems to have good people around him and family, so I am sure he will be fine.”
Does he think Zayn’s departure from the band could signal the start of the end for 1D?
“We have been a fivepiece, then we were down to four and now there are just the three of us... but our fans have been there for us the whole time. I imagine their fans are very similar.”
Gary still remembers vividly his own dreams rapidly being shattered as he tried to steer a new solo career after Take That disbanded.
It was 1996 and he was midway through a gruelling radio station tour across the States.
“I was in a place called Spokane, in Washington, which is in the middle of nowhere, and I just woke up and thought, ‘What am I doing?’” he says quietly. “I was miles from anyone and anything. I thought, I can’t bear it any more, I’m worn out and have to go home. That was pretty much the end.”
This dejection, which included his US single charting at No 42, led to him retreating back to his Cheshire mansion and his weight ballooning to 16 stone.
But fast-forward 19 years and Gary is finally on the verge of what he never dreamed was possible – Stateside success.
The singer has composed and written all the music for a new Broadway production, which theatre insiders predict could be one of the biggest hits of the year.
“I’m 44, I never expected at such a late stage in my career for this to happen.”