'I Don't Know If You'll Like This Track': How Kirin J Callinan Made Barnsey A Viral Meme

8 October 2020 | 3:00 pm | Neil Griffiths

"So I just screamed like a banshee for a couple of seconds."

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Jimmy Barnes says he "couldn't even make a dent" in the US market, but thanks a 2017 collaboration with Sydney artist Kirin J Callinan, the Australian legend went global... even through memes.

In his new book, Killing Time (out right now), Barnes revealed how he came to work with Callinan on Big Enough, who he even admits was "pushing his luck" when asked to be in the music video and on a new episode of The Green Room with Neil Griffiths podcast, the Cold Chisel frontman discussed how a song he did as a favour to his daughter went on to become an online sensation.

"Kirin's a great lad, I reckon," Barnes told podcast host Neil Griffiths.


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"He pushes the boundaries. He's a performance artist. When he asked me to do that, I did it because he was a mate of Elly-May, my daughter's.

"I remember my engineer at the time, Ben, he was just going, 'I don't know if you'll like this track' and I went, 'Nah, it's OK. I don't mind. I'll have a go. He just wants me to scream.' So I just screamed like a banshee for a couple of seconds. 

"I sent it back to him and I didn't hear any more about it until suddenly it was on talk shows in America."

The song was featured on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon and became a globally popular meme, with Barnes being coined "the screaming cowboy".

Big Enough has since been streamed over six million times on Spotify and racked up over 56 million views on YouTube. 

Barnes said he has even being stopped on the streets by children overseas who show pictures of "the screaming cowboy" on their phones to him.

"I got stopped on the street in Thailand where nobody ever recognises me... these kids were like 'Oh!" and they held -their phone] up... yeah, that's me!"

Listen to the full The Green Room episode with Barnes on Spotify (below), Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen to your favourite podcasts.

Barnes' new book, Killing Time, is out now.

Jimmy Barnes

Kirin J Callinan