Jimmy Barnes on becoming a meme: "I just screamed like a banshee"
When Kirin J Callinan asked Jimmy Barnes to scream on one of his tracks, Barnesy said yes before he’d even heard the song.
He met Kirin for the first time a few years earlier when they both sung with Neil Finn in Sydney.
“Kirin sent me Big Enough and it was not what I expected.
Now I’m receiving memes with me screaming.Jimmy Barnes
“I remember thinking ‘what a weird song’. But it was so infectious and I was singing the melodies everywhere I went,” he told Double J’s Myf Warhurst.
“So, I just screamed on it like a banshee for about five minutes.”
That scream has become a meme-sensation, thanks to the absolutely cracking western-themed music video that came later.
It's had almost 2.5 million views on YouTube and is nominated for the Australian Music Video of the Year in the 2017 J Awards, co-presented by triple j and Rage.
“The director [Danny Cohen] asked if I had any western gear and I said ‘haven’t you seen any of my videoclips from the 80s? I have shitloads!'”
Barnesy dug out a pair of cowboy boots, grabbed a couple of hats and appeared screaming in the sky as "the ghost of Ol’ Jimmy Barnes".
“And of course now I’m receiving memes with me screaming.”
Memes like these:
What did Barnesy fans think of the orginal video?
“We put it up on the fan site and a lot of my fans were quite taken aback by it, going ‘we don’t know what we’ve just seen, we don’t know if we like this or not’,” Barnes said.
But he said the song itself caught on with everybody.
“More people stop me in the street now and say ‘I love Kirin’s song’ than they talk about my new book," he said, referring to his new memoir, Working Class Man.
“It’s touched a different group of people and people respond to it. Kirin's sense of humour, his creativity – he’s a clever guy.
“It’s a really great success story. It’s a great clip, I think they’ve done a really great job, and I think Kirin is a talent to be watched,” he said.