top of page



"They say you can't please everyone.  That sounds like a challenge to me!"
- Captain John Sprocket


The Cog is Dead is a steampunk musical project founded by musician John Mondelli (known by the stage name John Sprocket) in 2006.  From its conception down to present day The Cog is Dead has been a regular presence in the steampunk music community, finding its initial fan base in 2009 with the song The Death of the Cog, a song which served as an introduction into the backstory of John Sprocket's character within the fictional world of The Cog is Dead.

In the early days The Cog is Dead was going to solely be a studio project - recording and releasing albums but not performing live concerts.  As time went on and the audience continued to grow came more and more requests for live performances.  So in 2012, when a convention offered an opening slot at an Abney Park concert (a band whose steampunk style was a major influence on The Cog) the decision was made to book their first show.  Then another.  And another.  Shortly thereafter The Cog is Dead was invited to go on a tour with fellow steampunk acts Frenchy and the Punk and This Way to the Egress.  After the tour The Cog is Dead began regularly booking shows at conventions, and it was during this time that Bradley and Renate became regular performers in the live shows.  In 2015 they filmed their first live concert film The Cog is Dead: Live at the Athens Theatre.  Around this time the decision was made to be a convention act rather than a touring one, and from there on forward The Cog is Dead has performed at conventions all over the United States.  Today The Cog is Dead continues to regularly write and release new music and remain an active part of the steampunk music community, and the live act continues to play occasional shows at steampunk events around the country!


The Cog is Dead are a trio of steampunk musicians who came from Victorian England in the year 1893 aboard their marvelous flying time ship.  The group consists of Captain John Sprocket (guitar and vocals)  Renate Goodwin (drums) and Bradley Harrington III (bass.)  They now travel around the world and throughout time playing their marvelous music and steam powered songs as they strive to avenge the death of the cog by bringing back steam engines and analog clockwork!


In 1893 John Sprocket owned a small clock shop in Grimsby, England.  A clock maker by trade, Mr. Sprocket was exceedingly fond of every aspect of clockwork.  He especially loved gears and cogs.  There was a certain beauty and charm to those clockwork cogwheels that he just adored.

Unfortunately Mr. Sprocket discovered that a man named Hamilton was developing a new kind of clock.  It was a clock that had no need for gears or springs, but instead used electricity and featured an unappealing digital number display.  With the news of this new digital clock came the realization of John Sprocket's greatest fear: THE DEATH OF THE COG!

Sprocket spent the next few weeks in a deep depression, wondering what could be done to preserve his beloved mechanical clockwork.  Shortly thereafter he was visited by a very helpful friend.

Mr. Sprocket knew a skilled mechanic named Renate Goodwin.  She happened to be finest mechanic in down.  Ms. Goodwin purchased all of her timepieces exclusively from Sprocket's shop, and often said that there was no finer clock in all the world than a John Sprocket timepiece.

On this particular day Goodwin found Sprocket in a state of utter despair.  Sprocket proceeded to tell Ms. Goodwin about the tragic creation of the digital clock.  When he had finished telling her the story, Renate made a suggestion.

She suggested they attempt to build a time traveling machine so that they could go to the future and see just what sort of an impact this digital technology would have on the world.  Sprocket loved the idea and the two of them put their years of experience with mechanics and time pieces to work and built a glorious flying time machine!  Then they set off for the future in their new flying time ship!

As they were off on their temporal voyage Renate heard a noise coming from an apple barrel on the ship.  Upon investigating it she discovered a young man who had stowed away aboard their vessel.  The young man meant them no harm, he was simply an earnest lad seeking adventure and was fascinated by the idea of time travel.  So Captain Sprocket decided to put him to work and made Bradley Harrington III their chronographic navigator.

And so they set off to see the world of the 21st century!  However to their dismay they discovered that in the future digital timepieces were abundant in the world.  Not only that, but digital technology appeared to have taken over the world!  Everywhere they looked were electronic devices and people attached to them like mindless drones.  They were shocked and horrified by this bleak future, and decided to devote their lives to eliminating digital technology and bringing back glorious clockwork and steam power as it was in the 19th century.

So now they travel the world over spreading their message to the masses through musical entertainment.  Perhaps someday people will realize what a terrible tragedy it was when Hamilton's digital clock was unleashed onto the world.  Until then... the cog is dead.

bottom of page