ROKTOY the Story
TRACE DEVAI sang backing vocals for ALICE COOPER on the NIGHTMARE RETURNS tour and RAISE YOUR FIST AND YELL.
After years of a solo career in Hollywood with the TRACE DEVAI BAND, winning 4 local rock awards, headlining clubs like VIPER ROOM, WHISKY A GOGO, TROUBADOUR, THE ROXY, TRACE’S young wife MELISSA was tragically killed in a car wreck at age 23. Uninspired to write songs Trace decided to put a tribute band together. KING OF POP THE BAND was the result.
An instant headliner in larger venues such as casinos and festivals TRACE paid tribute to one of his icons. “Years before with a troop of dancer’s I performed at NEVERLAND for Mr. JACKSON in his private theatre during his break on the BAD tour. When he met me he asked me if I was a singer. I said yes. He said “You have the aura of a singer.”
After folding KING OF POP THE BAND, TRACE DEVAI put performing behind him and focused on his other passion of screenplay writing. This time he wrote the stage play THE GHOSTS OF MA BARKER. Trace wrote and directed the Hollywood production that ran at THE RUBY THEATRE in 2015, to solid revues. Can be viewed on YOUTUBE.
After the production closed TRACE focused on his screenplays. When LENNY KRAVITZ flew me to New York to see him play with GUNS ‘N ROSES, I was in Rock and roll heaven at Giant Stadium. SLASH and I have been friends since 7th grade. LENNY KRAVITZ and I met in the 9th. I had free reign of the place. Even TOM MAYHEW from ALICE COOPER worked for GNR.
Once back in Los Angeles I began building a scratch build radio controlled model ship, listening to GNR the entire time. Trying to hit AXL ROSES crazy high notes as I tried all my life. I always wanted to hit those crazy high rock notes with grit, but I never could. I tried to sing AC/DC also with no good result.
On the way to the hobby store I was singing to “Nighttrain” and after the song finished it took a second to realize, wait did I just hit AXL’S notes? I shook my head and replayed the song and sang along with AXL for the first time. I sat stunned. I reached for the Back in Black CD. If I can sing
Back in Black I can sing anything, I thought to myself. Not only did I sing it, I destroyed it with fury. Every one of BRIAN JOHNSON’S high notes.
The notion struck me to put a band together after 8 years. I called old friends and we were rehearsing immediately. BRANNON ROLLER originally from San Francisco was on guitar from the beginning.
I chose in my opinion the hardest songs to sing in rock and roll. I had to prove to myself my new voice was real, only a crowd of people can answer that question. ROK BOY was my first license plate, that name was taken so... We played the club CRAZY GIRLS in Hollywood.
After I performed I was swarmed by the dancers and even the other bands. One guy said to me “We all want to sing like you”. After that I wrote 30 original songs in 6 weeks and began recording in bandmate, JOHNNY G’s wife’s studio. We entered a battle of the bands competition and won.
One day we hired a music engineer, he brought a friend along named TEE MONEY. TEE and I were in the studio on a break and I witnessed what he could do on bass synthesizer. I had a band once with bass keys, I loved it. He said he learned in church. I was an instant fan of TEE MONEY.
When the pandemic hit, performing live was off. TRACE penned the screenplay ROKTOY AIR, inspired by the BEATLES’ “A HARD DAYS NIGHT.” BRANNON and TRACE wrote the soundtrack songs for the upcoming film starring the band.
A twist of fate forced our drummer to quit. Always an optimist TRACE figured something better will come along, and he did. Answering an ad in Craig’s list. Dedicated, smart, sharp with no nonsense or excuses. Groovy with a solid pocket, a singers dream. MAC SAVVVY from Virginia.
TRACE knew ROKTOY had a pulse. But ROKTOY still wasn’t complete without a second guitarist. All we needed was one more bad ass star on guitar. “Oh GOD send me a Les Paul player” TRACE pleaded to the heavens.
And then it happened. Thanks again. Out the window of TRACE’S new LA apartment he spotted a tattooed, pierced, blue haired fellow with a 3 legged fluffy dog. TRACE had to ask him what he did. He said he played guitar. What kind of guitar said TRACE. He answered, Les Paul.
NAWSH soon came over to watch the MOTLEY CRUE movie THE DIRT. Soon after we recorded GLAMOROUS LOVERS in his home studio THE NAWSH PIT, one flight up from TRACE in the same building.
ROKTOY’S groovy sexy rockin’ sound makes you want to twist and shout. ROKTOY’S lyrics to the song UNIVERSAL FUTURE sum up the bands vision of inclusion. “Welcome to our universal future, color blind society, freedom and equality, joy and love diversity, all for one, one for all.”