SUM studios officially launches space for “interconnected” artists and musicians

By Minh Do

Malden now has a new space for studios that will be dedicated to artists and musicians looking for places to showcase their arts or to blast out rehearsals without the neighbors complaining.

On June 12, SUM Studios, located at 730 Eastern Ave, officially opened with a gala launch day. Visitors accessed SUM Studios through a small road through the parking lot, leading to a garage door-like entrance. Bob Logan, the director and music producer of SUM studio, greeted visitors and attendees included Malden Mayor Gary Christenson. Logan shook hands with guests and led band members to the practice rooms in which they would be playing for the mayor later.

“Most of our members have been experienced players in the Boston music scene for a while,” said Logan, who founded SUM studio with his bandmates after the closure of the EMF building in Central Square where he was the building manager. Logan and his colleagues, including band members and artists who previously used the EMF facility, moved to the new SUM studio location.

Bob Logan, second from left, greeting visitors on the launch day of SUM Studio
Logan said that the 50,000 square-foot space includes a performance area and 100 rehearsal and recording studios, including an equipment rental area. Additional visual arts spaces will be built following the launch day.
Dan Dishino, a drummer for Terminal 51 at the launch day for SUM Studios
A variety of merchandise was on sale at the opening day. Tables were packed with handmade sculptures, prints, and framed paintings, and visitors paid to have their portrait drawn by an caricaturist. Other independent merchants also set up their independent kiosks, alongside food and drinks. The ceremony ended with Logan blowing the candles organized to appear in the form “SUM Studio” on a cake.

For many musicians, this will be their go-to place for a long time to come, long after the opening ceremony.
A mother and a daughter posing for a portrait painting

“Some of us come here nightly,” said Dan Dishino, a drummer for Terminal 51, a band which performed during the showcase.

“We were practicing at a different location before. And we are from Malden, so we were looking for someplace local and there really isn’t much north of the city. We found out about SUM Studio and it’s right around the corner, so it’s really exciting to see a place like this,” said Jason Hamlin, a guitarist for Terminal 51.

For Logan, SUM Studios will be more than just a room-for-lease aimed at musicians. He emphasized interconnectedness of the members.

“Most of our colleagues are, in some shape or form, artists or part-time artists and they want to be involved,” said Logan. “We feel like all of the members here are part of the team and they all take an interest in the studio and become one big collective.”

The space also features a prominent area for paintings from local artists. Visitors chatted and looked at the paintings while bands performed at the mini-stage right next to the exhibition area.

Visitors during the launch day

“I grew up here and there is very little of this, to my knowledge, in years past. I’m very excited that this is happening. I love the fact that there’s more than just music. I’m a musician, and I’m here for the music but I love the fact that there’s visual arts represented as well,” Adam Goodwin, a band keyboardist who played for the showcase.

“Coming from the musical side, I highly recommend [SUM studios] to musicians and bands looking for spaces and not annoy the neighbors,” quipped Adam.

The video below was recorded by Jenna Brown and edited by Minh Do.

Minh Do is journalism major at Emerson College, currently interning at MATV, Malden’s Media center.

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