"We were always in control of our destiny," Tomlinson told independent.co.uk.
"We rose to fame pretty quick and, because of that, we had some power and some say within the record label and with management," he said, adding that being in the band was "like a drug".
"It's that feeling of heightened emotion and every day being manically busy, and the hysteria. Although you might complain about it, none of us said, ‘No we don't wanna do that.' We were just in it. We were f***ing loving it".
But the initial 18 months were hard for him because he struggled to fathom his value within the band.
"I would wonder, ‘What difference would it make if I was there or if I wasn't?' Under the spotlight that was difficult, but that's what gave me the fire in the belly to get right into it."
The singer said that the end of One Direction was shocking.
He said: "We'd done such a lot of work in a short space of time so a break was inevitable. But I don't think I was necessarily ready for how long. We had a band meeting and everyone just said, ‘Maybe we'll put it on the back burner for a bit', and I felt a bit petulant about that at the time. It actually hit me like a ton of bricks."
They are officially on hiatus.
"Truthfully, none of us truly know (if we'll reform). I just know what my gut says and my gut says we will get back together at some point. I think it was too magical for all of us to never do it again," he said.