Benny Benassi, “Shooting Helicopters (feat. Serj Tankian)”: Idolator Premiere

Bradley Stern | August 21, 2014 6:00 am

What happens when dance pioneer Benny Benassi and System Of A Down frontman Serj Tankian get together on the same song? Electronic poetry, that’s what.

The idea of “Shooting Helicopters” — the highly anticipated collaboration between the two, out next Tuesday on Ultra Music — began well over a year ago, although Benny wasn’t sure whether or not Serj would be receptive to the idea of journeying into the electronic scene.

But after an initial meeting in LA last year, the two hit it off immediately, only to spend about six months (!) working on the song together, which you can now hear below.

From Benny Benassi:

“The idea of bringing Serj’s vocal style into our musical environment was a real challenge. As soon as I started experimenting with the music under the vocals, I was immediately struck by the atmosphere of the song which is decidedly different from most things you here at the festivals I play at and unlike anything we’ve done so far, ourselves. I started playing embryonic versions out, especially as a set opener and the effect was devastating. We kept working on the music until we were 100% satisfied. I’d like to thank Serj for being part of this. Respect.”

“Tell me that you need me, that you want me/That you’d love for me to know/Today we fall in love again!” Serj characteristically quivers across the chorus. The beat swells, as Serj begins rhyming through a vocoder (“Disconcerting provocations stemming from deep devastations”) and then — boom: A deafening beat blast that ought to blow the speakers out at festivals across the world.

And there you have it: A massive tune for an equally massive collaboration.

Did the six months of fine-tuning the track pay off? Listen to the premiere of Benny Benassi and Serj Tankian’s “Shooting Helicopters” above, and let us know what you think in the comments below.

Get an eyeful of even more pop music coverage, from artist interviews to exclusive performances, on Idolator’s YouTube channel.