Coming to a raucous Congress Street locale near you, prolific multi-instrumentalist Dan Capaldi will be rounding up an all-star troupe in support of a CD-release show for his new band Sea Level.

The night promises to be a blast, what with Capaldi’s Rolodex as chock-full of talent as any other performer in town.

When GO sat down to learn how Capaldi got to this rarefied air, what stood out was not cutthroat ambition or brash self-assuredness, but rather a healthy, old-fashioned love for the craft.

The guy gobbles opportunities, from his work as a drummer in The Cambiata to commercials and film, and from make-believe to innumerable side projects.

A basic level of passion for rock ‘n’ roll would not suffice here, but Capaldi’s involvement in the Port City scene is anything but basic.

So come to Empire Dine & Dance on Saturday for a memorable night to celebrate all that is good about a guy who puts his whole heart into his work. 

You cut your teeth as a percussionist for The Cambiata. How are you taking to your new role on guitar and vocals?

It’s been very liberating creatively, and I don’t mean only as a frontman necessarily. Since the whole idea behind this project is so broad, I’ve been able to develop my skills not only as a guitarist and vocalist, but also a composer, arranger, director, producer, storyteller, and even a character I made up. 

Did you handpick the other members of Sea Level? How is the band coalescing around the songs?

Sea Level has been a long time in the making. I wrote and recorded “Anjuli” without any clear idea of who I’d get to actually perform it live. In the end, I found this to be both a blessing and a curse. On one hand, I had complete creative control and no boundaries. On the other hand, it was practically impossible to re-create as a solo artist without an orchestra. Johnny Venom (bass) is the only current member that has been with me since the tracking of the album. He’s been my go-to bassist for a while now. The most difficult spot to fill was the drummer, presumably because that really meant replacing myself.

I ran into Chris Sweet this fall while he was playing a show with Lady Zen, and knew I found my guy. So I had bass, drums, guitar and vocals. How could I possibly cover the other 78 different instruments on the album? Two words: Justin Wiley. I throw him keys, strings, glock, theremin, you name it. Somehow between eight different keyboards, he can play it all at once. 

Tell some stories of your Maine music roots.

Growing up in Falmouth, I was primarily a jazz drummer and concert percussionist. I developed a love for theater very early on, and played in a lot of pit orchestras.

It wasn’t until later in high school that I started getting into the local popular music scene. I was always a big Rustic Overtones fan and was naturally drawn to large-scale production. Junior year, I connected with Dan Lohmeyer, who now plays with The Sophomore Beat in a ska band called That’s What She Said. I made a big decision to take time off after high school and toured around with some bands for a year. I then moved to Boston to attend Berklee College of Music.

From that point on, I just got my hands in everything music-related, including film scores, commercial composing (including clients Tony Hawk, Cartoon Network, Zildjian, Hannaford and the Boston Celtics), teaching (through the Maine Academy of Modern Music), session work, producing, playing in too many bands — perhaps to overcompensate for so many years of people telling me I’d never make it in music. 

How has (film composer) Danny Elfman been an influence to your songwriting? What elements of his work are you particularly drawn to?

One of the biggest moments in my life was right after I saw “The Nightmare Before Christmas” for the first time. Somehow I just decided right then and there that I wanted to be a film composer. Danny Elfman somehow incorporates the perfect combination of melody, harmony, dynamics, instrumentation, silence and attitude in his music that matches my own emotional chemistry. A lot of the songs from the “Anjuli” EP and even Cambiata’s “Hell’s Kitchen” were taken directly from indie film scores I’ve done over the years that never went anywhere. Even the subject matter of my songs is from twisted children’s stories I’ve made up. If I could only find a film director 

What are some of the stories behind the making of “Anjuli?” Are you happy with it? What can Cambiata fans expect?

The album is meant to be the soundtrack for a cartoon I’ve never had the resources to make called “Crazy Anjuli.” In short, it’s my own spin on the classic “character lives in a world that makes no sense, goes on a journey and learns something” model. “Alice in Wonderland,” “Pan’s Labyrinth,” “MirrorMask,” “Coraline” — there is so much to be said. “Crazy Anjuli” is a rather dark, unsettling tale that in the end has a simple message: Happiness is a very personal quest. The rest of the world may think you’re crazy, but in the grand scheme of things, how can anyone really know what makes you tick but yourself?

Most of the songs on the album were originally intended to be played with Cambiata, but when we broke up so abruptly, I ended up doing them my way. 

You still play drums around town. What are some of your favorite side projects and why?

Holy Boys Danger Club is my family. No matter what projects I am focusing on at the time, my closest friends are in that band. It’s also the act that I’m most comfortable with. I get to focus on performing, and find it to be the perfect counterbalance to the precision-based nature of Sea Level.

I play drums for the Kenya Hall Band too — entirely different story altogether. Kenya and the gang are the most down-to-earth, genuine people I’ve ever played with, both musically and personally. I get to improvise and even solo on occasion, which is something I haven’t been able to do with many of my projects in the past half-decade.

Then there is Trainwreck, the live karaoke band performing every Wednesday at “Kill the Karaoke.” I have to know roughly 200 songs on guitar and play “Santeria” by Sublime every single night. Sounds tedious, right? In reality, I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t think it helped me as a player. I really do have fun, and I wouldn’t be half the guitarist I am now if it weren’t for Tom Hall. 

What can we expect from the release show at Empire? Any surprises on tap?

I don’t think I’ve ever put so much energy into a single event in my life. I’m doing everything I can to make this more than just a set. First off is the lineup. Amanda Gervasi and I decided to do this show together a long time ago, and we’ll even be performing a duet together.

Billy Libby will be playing with his full band, and never disappoints. Perhaps one of the more talked-about acts, The Vanityites, will be debuting their new lineup, and have some really big plans in the future.

OK, time to just say it: All of Cambiata will be performing that night with their new projects. I have a 12-piece band including vocalists (directed by Lady Zen), horn players (directed by Derek Ramos), lighting crews, camera crews, set design based on the story of “Anjuli” (directed by Heidi Green) and special guests on select songs. I also will have a celebrity guest from England making an appearance at some point in the night. 

Mike Olcott is a freelance writer who lives in Portland and Boston.