With their latest album ‘Nightmare’ debuting at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and subsequent blockbuster tours, you would have to imagine that Avenged Sevenfold’s M. Shadows would have a lot of highlights over the past year. In a new interview with Loudwire, the singer told us about “the greatest experience of [his] Avenged Sevenfold life."

In December of 2010, after many failed attempts, M. Shadows and Avenged Sevenfold headed out on a USO tour run playing three shows in Iraq and one in Kuwait. The band played for U.S. soldiers stationed at Camp Adder, Balad Air Base and Camp Beuhring, and according to M. Shadows, it was a “pretty eye-opening” experience.

“We knew a lot about what was going on over there but it was amazing to see the troops,” Shadows tells us. He went on to describe their experience and what they saw there: “18-year-old girls who are 5 ft. 2 in. with M16s on their shoulders, just crazy stuff, all these soldiers there, in a country that is so war torn.”

While there, Avenged Sevenfold also toured the area, “Going around and getting to see all the palaces and Saddam’s tyranny in person, it was pretty crazy for us,” Shadows admits.

The memorable experience left an everlasting mark on Shadows. “We got to do so many things there and visit with so many troops, play video games with them and shoot guns with them, do fun stuff like that," he recalls. "It was just a very unbelievable experience.”

Check back with Loudwire next week for the rest of our exclusive interview with M. Shadows.

Watch Avenged Sevenfold Perform 'Nightmare' in Iraq