By Isabella Biedenharn
Updated November 18, 2015 at 03:14 PM EST
Credit: Michael Rozman/Warner Bros

One Direction will appear on Ellen on Wednesday, and as host Ellen DeGeneres notes, the last time the band was on the show, they couldn’t all fit on the couch. Without Zayn Malik, who left the band in March, Harry Styles, Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson, and Niall Horan can sit on the couch just fine.

But when DeGeneres tries to ask about their former bandmate, the guys resort to short answers and uncomfortable laughter. “Why are you laughing?” DeGeneres asks in the clip below. “Because you can cut the tension in here,” says Styles. “Let’s make some jokes.”

Malik aside, Degeneres also asked One Direction about their announcement that they’re taking a year off from music, which they admit is strange — taking a break just after releasing a new album, Made In The A.M., which bowed Friday. See what they had to say below — and beneath that, watch the guys play “Never Have I Ever.”