This is slightly off-topic, but since it was the first response to the thread:Well ask yourself the question, if you don't do it exactly the same who will notice (other than you and other drummers)
Maybe its different in the UK, but slavishly copying a record has never been top requirement for me or the bands I've been in - the question is does it sound good
When you're playing something as a "tribute" to a famous band like Iron Maiden, I don't see any scope for just doing your own thing and having fun. Not that I'm not having fun, but there has to be that respect at least when you're not paying them royalty either. Otherwise it's akin to cocking a snook at them and almost like claiming a song for your own, imho. Best of my ability, my ar*e.
I suppose I've always had a different interpretation of "cover". According to me, when you cover a song, it's "shake it up, toss the structure around, make it your own thing". Not in a "More than Words" way, more like a "Man Who Sold The World".
If you're not doing a "cover", you play the thing like it was written. Otherwise, what's the point? Granted, the audience might not know. But someone might.
I know a lot of bands won't agree. I've been to Pantera tribute nights where no one even sounds remotely like Vinnie Paul or more importantly, Dimebag Darrell. So what was it? Just a fancy cash grab in the end. I honestly believe that if you respect a band enough, you won't take shortcuts with their material.
From an exaggerated point of view, it's like playing four chords and singing Bob Dylan songs badly, just because "no one knows".