The news of One Direction's upcoming break from duties in 2016 — an unexpected 1D decision that, like so many other 1D dramas this year, has scandalized a nation — wasn't exactly news to everyone.

In fact, longtime collaborator and producer Julian Bunetta revealed to Billboard that the boys recorded their upcoming fifth LP with the knowledge of "there being some uncertainty" of their future as a band beyond this LP.

"There was definitely a vibe of making [the album] the best it can possibly be, and knowing it has to last as long as it needs to until we make another record – if we make another record,” he explained in the interview. That "if"! GULP.

But not to worry! It's a good thing, according to the producer — at least in terms of the upcoming music: “When you’re faced with some uncertainty, you appreciate the moment more. The moment that you’re in becomes really special and sacred. It was definitely one of the most fun album-making processes I’ve had because of that.”

Between Zayn going solo and Louis officially entering into fatherdom ("DAD!" — but literally), the troupe's staying power has been called into question more than ever — despite the fact that their most recent single, "Drag Me Down," became their highest-selling debut of their entire career.

And, based on Bunetta's hints about the music, some of this will be addressed in the lyrics: “There’s a song about losing someone that isn’t Zayn. There’s also a song about the band being on shaky ground and not knowing what the future is. There are songs about love, there’s a song that is a little more sexually charged. It’s all over the map.”

Could the question mark hovering over their heads result in 1D's grand opus? Their Best Album Ever, if you will? We're about to find out.

One Direction Through The Years